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Yesterdays with Authors by James T. Fields
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James Fields (1817-1881) at age 14 became a clerk in a bookstore in
Boston, and in a few years became a partner in the bookselling firm of
Ticknor, Reed and Fields.

Fields's firm became the publisher for most of the great American
writers of the Nineteenth Century. In this book, Fields tells how he
persuaded a jobless, despondent Nathaniel Hawthorne to let him print
"The Scarlet Letter."

Fields made frequent visits to England to land the American publishing
rights to the works of important British writers, including the great
superstar of the time, Charles Dickens. Dickens accepted Fields as a
personal friend, entertained him at his retreat, Gad's Hill, and wrote
him many amusing notes that are included here. Fields also socialized
with the cream of London literary society, and the book includes his
personal anecdotes of meeting Wordsworth, Thackeray, and others. He
formed a friendship with Mary Russell Mitford (a successful dramatist
and novelist of the day; two of her works are available in Project
Gutenberg editions) and she wrote him long, gossipy letters, reproduced

The firm of Ticknor and Fields, after many mergers and acquisitions,
continues to exist today as Houghton Mifflin Books. The firm's original
store, the Old Corner Bookstore, still exists as a bookstore at the
corner of School and Washington streets in Boston.

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