“Ohio is the apothesis of Americanism. The middle west begins with Indiana, the east with Pennsylvania, the south with Kentucky, and, surrounded by these sits Ohio, one of the richest spots on earth. Its contribution to music, art, literature and the theatre is far greater than any two states in the nation.”
Mansfield native Louis Bromfield attained worldwide acclaim in the 1920s as the author of Early Autumn, his third novel and winner of the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. At age 29, Bromfield was regarded as one of America’s most promising young novelists, compared to the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. His books created a path to the world of Hollywood — Bromfield’s novels were among the first adapted for feature-length sound films.
By the mid-thirties, he had attained fame and riches in an era when reading was an international pastime and movies had just begun to influence American culture. But Bromfield was not happy.
At age 40, he thought he had everything: fame, wealth, friends, and family. But it wasn’t enough. Something was missing from his life — he yearned to return to the dream from which he had walked away 20 years earlier — to live a self-sufficient life on the land as a farmer and agriculturalist.
Louis Bromfield photo: Lotte Jacobi