seventeen Fields traveled from his home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
to Boston, where he apprenticed at the Old Corner Bookstore and
began writing for newspapers. After he was invited to join a major
publishing firm, it soon became known as Ticknor and Fields, and
now James T. Fields is celebrated in American National Biography
as the foremost publisher of the literature in mid-nineteenth
century America. He succeeded James Russell Lowell as editor of
the Atlantic Monthly.
Fields not only published eminent authors but frequently established
intimate relations with them. Among his authors of English literature
were Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson, and Thomas
De Quincy (twenty-three volumes). The American authors of acquaintance
included Hawthorne and Holmes, Emerson and Whittier, Harriet Beecher
Stowe and Bret Harte, whom he brought east from California.