Writing in wonderfully descriptive and fluent prose, Sarah Orne Jewett, best-known for The Country of the Pointed Firs, was early encouraged by her father to write not about things, but to "write the things themselves just as they are." That she did so is clearly evident in this collection of sensitively written stories, regional sketches that celebrate the past, full of clearly delineated characters and carefully detailed natural and domestic settings. Her luminous descriptions of the landscape are apparent in the title story, commonly regarded as her finest single tale. Other stories focus on the rural lives of elderly women and their attempts to live with dignity and security. In "The Town Poor," the characters are resilient in their poverty and compassionate towards those in need. Themes of female friendship in "The Dulham Ladies" and "Miss Tempy's Watchers" are characteristic. This volume also includes "The Foreigner," "Miss Peck's Promotion," "The Passing of Sister Barsett," "Miss Esther's Guest," "The Guests of Mrs. Timms," and "The Courting of Sister Wisby." Widely regarded as the most distinguished American regionalist writer of the 19th century, Sarah Orne Jewett has been rediscovered and acknowledged as an American master. This outstanding collection of her short fiction will delight students of literature and women's studies as well as general readers.