Eggleston was born in Vevay, Indiana, to Joseph Cary Eggleston and Mary Jane Craig. As a child, he was too ill to regularly attend school, so his education was primarily provided by his father. He was ordained as a Methodist minister in 1856. He wrote a number of tales, some of which, especially the "Hoosier" series, attracted much attention. Among these are The Hoosier Schoolmaster, The Hoosier Schoolboy, The End of the World, The Faith Doctor, and Queer Stories for Boys and Girls.
His summer home, Owl's Nest, in Lake George, New York, eventually became his year-round home. Eggleston died there in 1902, at the age of 64. Owl's Nest was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
Principal works 
- The Hoosier Schoolmaster 1871
- The End of the World 1872
- The Mystery of Metropolisville 1873
- The Circuit Rider 1874
- Roxy 1878
- The Graysons 1888
- The Faith Doctor 1891
- Duffels (short stories) 1893
- Mr. Blake's Walking Stick 1870
- Tecumseh and the Shawnee Prophet 1878
- Pocahontus and Powhatan 1879
- Montezuma 1880
- The Hoosier Schoolboy 1883
- Queer Stories for Boys and Girls 1884
- Home History of the United States 1889
- A History of the United States and Its People 1888
- The Beginners of a Nation 1896
- The Transit of Civilization From England to America 1901
- New Centennial History of the United States 1904
- "Eggleston, Edward." American Authors 1600-1900 The H. W. Wilson Company, New York, 1938
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource
- Bridges, Karl (2007). 100 great American novels you've (probably) never read. Popular authors series. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-59158-165-9. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- Encyclopedia of World Biography. "Edward Eggleston." <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Edward_Eggleston.aspx>
- "Edward Eggleston (obituary)". The New York Times. September 6, 1902. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- Works by Edward Eggleston at Project Gutenberg
- The Transit of Civilization from England to America in the Seventeenth Century
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