Published Apr 26, 2012
at 12:00 pm
(Updated Apr 26, 2012)
PORTSMOUTH — Pontine Theatre co-directors Greg
Gathers and Marguerite Mathews present their take on George Savary
Wasson's early 20th century stories based on the tales and lore of
Kittery Point, Maine, fishermen, with performances through May 13.
1904, Wasson was working on his beach at Kittery Point, scraping the
hull of his boat, when one of his sons came running down the hill,
shouting that Mr. Henry James had called. Wasson shouted back to the
boy, “Tell him to come right down,” and Henry James did, and a pleasant
visit followed. The elegant author was staying with Wasson's celebrated
neighbor, William Dean Howells.
This call was but one of the unexpected incidents resulting from the 1903 publication of Wasson's “Cap'n Simeon's Store.”
stories, based on a study of the people and language of Kittery Point
and set against the background of the village's general store, aroused
enthusiasm. One critic hailed “Cap'n Simeon's Store” as “the only book
which records faithfully and fully the quaint dialect of the old New
Mark Twain told William Dean Howells that its
eighth stories, “Rusticators at the Cove,” was one of the funniest he'd
ever read. None of Wasson's three books, “Cap'n Simeon's Store,” “The
Green Shay” (1905) and Home from Sea” (1908), enjoyed popular success.
However, scholars have described them as the most authentic Maine
stories ever written.