Swett, Sophie (Mariam)

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SWETT, Sophie (Mariam)

Born Brewer, Maine, 1858; died 12 November 1912

Daughter of Nathaniel and Susan Braston Swett

Sophie Swett was educated in public and private schools in Boston, Massachusetts. She served for a time as an associate editor of Wide Awake, the juvenile periodical established by Daniel Lothrop, a Boston-based publisher of children's books. In later life, Swett made her home in Arlington Heights, Massachusetts.

Swett's stories for young people characteristically combine a "Horatio Alger" plot and a Down-East setting. A Cape Cod Boy (1901), for example, tells of a "little Portugee," swept ashore in a storm, who masters the Yankee virtues of the Cape Codders who adopt him and, in time, prospers and repays his benefactors. In Mary Augusta's Price (1903), a homebody who yearns to be "like those brilliant girls who taught school and gave music lessons and could learn to paint portraits," turns her domestic skills to profit and demonstrates both good character and ability as a "business girl" by selling preserves to repay a moral debt. Swett's Stories of Maine (1890) is a local history intended as a school reader.

Swett should be regarded as both a juvenile author and a practitioner of the New England "local color" style best known through the works of Sarah Orne Jewett. Swett's sister, Susan Hartley Swett (1860-1907) was a poetess and author of local color fiction who also published in the juvenile periodicals.

Other Works:

Captain Polly (1889). Flying Hill Farm (1892). The Mate of the Mary Ann (1894). Cap'n Thistletop (1895). TheLollipops' Vacation (1896). Pennyroyal and Mint (1896). The Ponkaty Branch Road, and Other Stories for Young People (1896). Tom Pickering of "Scutney" (1897). Bilberry Boys and Girls (1898). The Boy from Beaver Hollow (1900). The Littlest One of the Brown (1900). Sarah the Less (1902). The Wonder-Ship (1902). The Young Ship-Builder (1902). The Lion Tamer's Little Girl (1903). Long Tom and How They Got Him (1903). Peaseblossom's Lion (1903). The Yellow-Capped Monkey (1903). Sonny Boy (1904). Polly and the Other Girl (1906). Princess Wisla (1908). The Six Little Pennypackers (1911). How the Pennypackers Kept the Light (1912).


Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century (1911). Who Was Who in America, 1899-1942 (1966).