University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Rosemarie Nervelle papers, 2014

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

These papers consist of a copy of the author’s press release for and prefatory note to her memoir Swamp Robin, published in 2014 by Goose River Press in Waldoboro, Maine.

Biographical/Historical Note

Rosemarie Nervelle was born in 1933 in Digby, Nova Scotia, the daughter of a wealthy Canadian businessman and his mixed-race housekeeper, Lizzie Cromwell. Unrecognized by her father, she suffered abuse by her mother and sought refuge in the care of her grandparents in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. She graduated from Yarmouth County Academy in 1951 and attended Sudbury University (Ontario) from 1952 to 1953. In 1955, Nervelle migrated to the United States. She graduated from the Katherine Gibbs School in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1957, and from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.F.A. in architectural design in 1982. From 1982 to 2000 she operated her own design business, Nervelle Associates, before retiring to Camden, Maine, where she became part of the Camden Round Table Writers group and participated from 2002 to 2006.

Nervelle began writing poetry and short stories in the fourth grade and she continued writing through high school as a hobby. Her writing became serious in adulthood during the period in which she lived on Nantucket, from 1972 to l978. Nervelle is the author of The Witch of Beaver Creek Mine, a Newbery Award-nominee young adult novel published by Down East Books in 2007. Other published work includes “Fog,” a poem, which was included in the Goose River Press Anthology in 2004, and the short stories “McPhee Island” (2008); “Saying Goodbye” (2009); “From the Inside” (2010); “Ethel and Bertie” (2011), and “Magnolia Street” (2012). Nervelle also published several articles and essays in The Camden Herald from 2006 to 2009 under the pseudonym Maggie O’Brien, many of which dealt with the abuse she suffered as a child. That abuse and her survival of it is detailed in her full-length memoir, Swamp Robin, published first as an e-book in 2013 and then by Goose River Press in Waldoboro, Maine, in 2014. Nervelle is married with two children and five grandchildren and lives in Camden.