University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Rachel Field collection, 1925-1971

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

Among the manuscript material in this collection is correspondence from Rachel Field to Elizabeth Coatsworth and Rosamond Lamb and letters from a Cranberry Island legend, Samuel Clark Sanford, to Rosamond Lamb. There are two photo Christmas cards, magazine and newspaper reviews of her books, her obituary, and notes revealing her husband’s welfare after her death in 1942.

Biographical/Historical Note

Rachel Field was born on September 19, 1894 in New York City, raised in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and was educated at Radcliffe College. At Radcliffe, she was involved with the 47 Workshop, and wrote a book of plays entitled Plays of the 47 Workshop (1918). She spent much time in the Cranberry Isles of Maine, and enjoyed stays at her mother’s cottage on Sutton Island called Bunchberry Bungalow. The locale inspired her to write many poems and novels, including Hitty: Her First Hundred Years (1929), which resulted in her becoming the first woman to win a Newbery Medal. In 1935 she married literary agent Arthur S. Pederson, with whom she collaborated on To See Ourselves (1937). The couple had a daughter, Hannah. Although she was a prolific writer of children’s books, Field also published several successful adult novels, including the bestsellers Time Out of Mind (1935), All This and Heaven Too (1938), and And Now Tomorrow (1942). All This and Heaven Too was made into an Academy Award nominated film in 1940, directed by Anatole Litvak and starring Bette Davis and Charles Boyer. Field established a friendship with fellow Maine woman writer Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth, and the two corresponded regularly. She died at age 47 on March 15, 1942.