Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 22. Edward Eggleston

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XV. Later Historians

§ 22. Edward Eggleston

Edward Eggleston entered history through the door of fiction. He was born in Indiana of the Western branch of a leading Virginia family, had scant educational opportunities, spent several years as an itinerant Methodist minister, became and editor in Chicago and New York, and in 1871 published the widely read story of frontier life, The Hoosier Schoolmaster. Two years later he retired from the profession of editor, and became pastor of a Brooklyn Congregational church, with the expressed understanding that he was not to conform to specific dogmas. Increasing skepticism made him give up this position in 1879. The step was taken after internal struggles which left him in a state of nervous prostration. Rest brought restoration and he turned to history as a serious study. Fiction he still followed as a breadwinning art, but from 1880 to his death in 1902 he considered himself primarily a historian.