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The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac: 'No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over''

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Eugene Field was born on 2nd September 1850 in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother died when he was six and his father when he was nineteen. His academic life was not taken seriously and he preferred the life of a prankster until, in 1875, he began work as a journalist for the St. Joseph Gazette in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

In his career as a journalist he soon found a niche that suited him. His articles were light, humorous and written in a personal gossipy style that endeared him to his readership. Some were soon being syndicated to other newspapers around the States. Field soon rose to city editor of the Gazette.

Field had first published poetry in 1879, when his poem ‘Christmas Treasures’ appeared. This was the beginning that would eventually number over a dozen volumes. As well as verse Field published an extensive range of short stories including ‘The Holy Cross’ and ‘Daniel and the Devil.’

In 1889 whilst the family were in London and Field himself was recovering from a bout of ill health he wrote his most famous poem; ‘Lovers Lane’.

On 4th November 1895 Eugene Field Sr died in Chicago of a heart attack at the age of 45.

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