Rachel Lyman Field

b. 19 Sep 1894
d. 15 Mar 1942

Background

Rachel Field, born in New York City and educated at Radcliffe, was a well-known author of popular children's and adult books in the 1930s.  Among others, she wrote God's Pocket, in which Captain Samuel Hadlock, Jr., of Great Cranberry Island, plays a leading role.

Field summered on Sutton Island in the 1920s and 1930s, first in her mother's cottage, "Bunchberry Bungalow", and later in her own house, "The Playhouse," which she bought with royalties from her plays.

She wrote the poems Cranberry Road and If Once You Have Slept on an Island about her enjoyable stays in the Cranberry Isles.

Exactly which island the poems refer to, however, is open to some controversy.  Long-time Islesford residents seem to think If Once You Have Slept on an Island was written about their island.  On the other hand, some Great Cranberry islanders claim that Rachel was staying in the Charles Spurling house there when it was written.  And, of course, Sutton Island, where she eventually owned her own home, could be the island intended.

Courtesy of Victoria Applegate, we have scans of a personal letter she wrote from Sutton Island, Maine, 14 Sept. 1935.

We have a personal letter she wrote to Helen Richardson Corkum, 22 January 1939.

Field died at 47, after a surgical operation.

List of Rachel Field books, articles, movies, etc
Rachel Field and Her Contribution to Children’s Literature by Margaret Lane

click to enlarge

Rachel with her husband, Arthur Siegfried Pederson in Maine, 1935

courtesy of Betty Hartley



courtesy of Georgie Ware



courtesy of Georgie Ware


courtesy of Georgie Ware


Obituaries

Noted Novelist, Rachel Field, Dies
Los Angeles, March 15 [1942]--(UP)-- Rachel Field, 48, widely known novelist and poetess, died at Good Samaritan Hospital today from pneumonia which followed a major operation.  She wrote the one-time best-seller, All This And Heaven Too.

She first gained fame with her books for children for which she was awarded the John Newberry [sic] medal in 1929.  These she followed with more ambitious novels and books of verse which were topped by All This And Heaven Too, published four years ago.

In private life she was the wife of Literary Agent Arthur Pederson and is survived by her husband, a daughter, Hannah, aged two and a half years; and her mother, Mrs. M. D. Field of Farmington, Conn.

Miss Field's latest effort, the novel And Now Tomorrow is running serially in a monthly periodical and is scheduled to be published in book form this Summer.

Funeral services will be held at Beverly Hills where she maintained a temporary residence.  Burial will be at Stockbridge, Mass.



courtesy of Georgie Ware


Rachel Field, Novelist, Dies
Pneumonia Fatal After Operation

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., March 15 [1942] (AP)--Rachel Field, 47, author of "All This and Heaven Too" and other novels and plays, died today of pneumonia contracted after an operation.

In 1929, before her novel writing period, Miss Field was awarded the John Newberry [sic] medal for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children.  She was born in New York City and had lived here for the past four years.

Miss Field was the wife of Arthur S. Pederson, with whom she collaborated in 1937 on "To See Ourselves."  They married in 1935.

Her last novel is "And Now Tomorrow," to be published in June.  It is now running serially in a magazine.

Survivors besides her husband are a daughter, Hannah, and her mother, Mrs. M. D. Field of Farmington, Ct.

The funeral will be at Stockbridge, Mass., where the family's summer home is situated.  Time of the services has not been set.

Several of Miss Field's books for young people had a coast of Maine setting -- "Hitty" which won the John Newberry medal in 1930, and "Calico Bush."  An adult book which owes its origin to Maine was "God's Pocket," the story of Captain Samuel Hadlock, Jr., of Cranberry Isles, Me., a fisherman and whaler who toured the capitals of Europe with two Esquimos and a collection of Esquimo weapons and relics.

Her novel, "Time Out of Mind," also was a story of Maine people, Maine shipyards and Maine characters.

Miss Field's novel "All This, and Heaven Too," was the story of a French woman who became the pivot about which a famous crime revolved, and who, after her exoneration, came to America, married, and became the center of a cultivated circle in Gramercy Park, New York.

courtesy of Georgie Ware

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