Considered a "regionalist" writer, like Kate Chopin and fellow New Englander Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman spent almost half a century living in New England. A prolific and renowned writer, she had to deal with a new aspect of popularity: celebrity.
This collection shows Freeman's many modes -- romantic, gothic, and psychologically symbolic -- as well as her use of pathos and sentimentality, dry reserve, and humor, satire, and irony. These last are most vividly expressed in The Jamesons, sketches of village life published here for the first time since the turn of the century. Other stories center on questions of women's integrity, courage, and, often, privation; explore cultural constructions of masculinity; and dramatize the interconnection of rural New England with modern culture and commerce.