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Biographer Scharnhorst rediscovers one of America’s first celebrity journalists. With parents in show business and publishing, young Field came naturally to her calling, contributing pieces to the New Orleans Picayune at 17 and traveling to Italy to study voice two years later, “just in time to observe the opening volleys in the Italian Revolution and the Austro-Sardinian War.” This led to published war commentary in the BostonCourier, followed by dismissal for her apparent partisanship, “the first of her many conflicts with editors.” While abroad she met notable artists, including George Eliot in 1860, who proved that “genius has no sex.” Emboldened, Field went on to a stellar career, writing for the Boston Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Herald and starting her own Kate Field’s Washington, an influential independent weekly. This first book-length biography of Field in more than a century reveals an important force in the history of women and the press, and with its meticulous research and lively writing, it is a notable addition to both fields. --Whitney Scott
Scharnhorst's biography of Field, the first in over a century, is exactly what it should be: an articulate, no-nonsense account. -- New York Times Sunday Book Review, May 18, 2008
This study adds to our knowledge of nineteenth-century professional women while painting a colourful picture of one who made a vivid, but fleeting, impression on so many of her better-known contemporaries. --The Times Literary Supplement
"Through this splendid biography, Scharnhorst has taken the first big step in restoring Kate Field to her rightful place in American literary and cultural history."- Resources for American Literary Study --Resources for American Literary Study
"Scharnhorst's biography brings into view again the forgotten "many lives" of Kate Field." American Studies Journal --American Studies Journal