You Know NH Native Dan Brown, But Have You Heard of This Seacoast Writer?
Dan Brown is probably someone that you've heard of even if you are not a reader. Dan wrote the famous book, made in to a screenplay and blockbuster movie starring Tom Hanks, the Da Vinci Code, (2003). That book was number 2 in a series about the main character, Robert Langdon, according to Wiki. I remember sitting in the movie theater, chomping on my popcorn, not knowing anything about the Knights Templar, but finding it extremely interesting. Dan's writing had me on the edge of my seat! I only found out after I watched the movie that he was from NH. I have to admit, by the time the prequel came out three years later, Angels and Demons, it kinda lost me, but for a while, I was riveted with the whole concept of a secret society!
It's Dan's 56th birthday today, so it got me thinking about another, lesser known writer from Portsmouth.
One writer you may NOT have heard of from the Seacoast of NH is Celia Thaxter. That name may not sound familiar at all, but what if I said she was born Celia Leighton, born in Portsmouth and was the daughter of Thomas Leighton, the keeper of the Lighthouse of the Isle of Shoals Light? Ah, now you know. She married at 16 to a guy named Levi Thaxter, moved to Watertown, then Newburyport, but missed her beloved Appledore Island, (Isle of Shoals), so she moved back, according to Wiki.
Celia was a writer and poet in the 19th century, penning such poems as this one, "The Sandpiper," taken from the poemhunter.com:
Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, but by bit,
The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.
I can picture her now, can't you? Just sitting upon the rocks on the island, looking around for inspiration and along comes a little sandpiper. If you live around here and go to the beach, you've seen sandpipers, you might just not know their name. Here they are in a cool YouTube video done by CBS Sunday Morning: