Eugene Field - Encyclopedia




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EUGENE FIELD (1850-1895), American poet, was born at St Louis, Missouri, on the 2nd of September 1850. He spent his boyhood in Vermont and Massachusetts; studied for short periods at Williams and Knox Colleges and the University of Missouri, but without taking a degree; and worked as a journalist on various papers, finally becoming connected with the Chicago News. A Little Book of Profitable Tales appeared in Chicago in 1889 and in New York the next year; but Field's place in later American literature chiefly depends upon his poems of Christmas-time and childhood (of which "Little Boy Blue" and "A Dutch Lullaby" are most widely known), because of their union of obvious sentiment with fluent lyrical form. His principal collections of poems are: A Little Book of Western Verse (1889); A Second Book of Verse (1892); With Trumpet and Drum (1892); and Love Songs of Childhood (1894). Field died at Chicago on the 4th of November 1895.

His works were collected in ten volumes (1896), at New York. His prose Love-affairs of a Bibliomaniac (1896) contains a Memoir by his brother Roswell Martin Field (b. 1851). See also Slason Thompson, Eugene Field: a study in heredity and contradictions (2 vols., New York, 1901).

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