Page images

programs and with a very high type of reviews interesting those who attend.

Sherwood Anderson, Carl Sandburg, E. Haldeman-Julius, Nelson Antrim Crawford, Professor Elrick B. Davis of Washburn College, and Marco Morrow, head of the Capper publications, are among the literary folks who have appeared before the club.

An indication of the type of entertainment this "church club" is offering is given by some of the items on the spring program for 1925. One evening is devoted to "A Story Teller's Story", another to "The Little French Girl", another to "Grover Cleveland, The Man and the Statesman", etc.

A catholicity of taste here, certainly.

We have been getting around again a bit, after a winter of constant if amusing work. We went the other evening to the initial performance of Mary Hay and Clifton Webb at Ciro's. Here is good music from the baton of Ben Bernie. The literary were gathered in spots, entirely overshadowed by movies and the theatre. We were surprised to see Ralph Pulitzer dancing rather solemnly. Of the many stage beauties there gathered, one only seemed impressive: Rosamund Pinchot is graceful, dignified, serene. The first night of Mr. Brady's famous "A Good Bad Woman" was an occasion best forgotten. As Mr. Hammond of the New York "Herald-Tribune" so aptly remarked, there was only one man there wearing an opera hat. What a mistake he made! The new Town Hall Club is an excellent place for a meal, or to sit in comfort sipping coffee and chatting. This is to be a very large club in which both men and women may be members. The point of interest is going to be to find out just what percentage of men will attend a club where large numbers of both sexes belong. We hear rumors that A. Hamilton Gibbs has returned to this country. We are anxious to see him and to tell him what an excellent book

[blocks in formation]

More California notes from Laura Bell Everett. We have given up our California trip; and so we suppose that for the time being we shall know of goings on in that sunny state only through our kind friends.

Bernard Marshall of Berkeley, California, recently published the fourth of his series dealing with historical backgrounds at times of national accretion in human rights. He began with the age of King John in "Cedric the Forester", followed by "Walter of Tiverton", and "The Torch Bearers". Of Massachusetts birth and training, Mr. Marshall is peculiarly fitted to make "Redcoat and Minuteman" live again.

Mary Mills West, who won second place in the "Forum" contest with the story "Payment", is University Extension lecturer in short story writing. A recent Berkeleyan, she went through the experience of being burned out in the fire of last year. After the death of her husband Max West, also a writer, she was for years in the Children's Bureau in Washington, where she used her experiences with her own children in writing for other mothers. She was added to the staff when some

mother wrote urgently for directions for feeding her baby with this stipulation: "And I don't want advice from no old maid."

Henry Meade Bland, whose "Stevenson's California" has been published by the Pacific Short Story Club of San José, is dean of the short story club movement in California. Mr. Bland's own writing has hitherto been more in the field of verse than of fiction. He is a personal friend of Edwin Markham's and knew Joaquin Miller well. He was one of the young writers to whom Miller gave a building site on "the Heights", Miller's home above Oakland, where the poet dreamed of having a literary colony.

Next to Mark Twain and Bret Harte, Stevenson has been the most obliging of our literary lights in localizing his fame in California, and Mr. Bland has collected much interesting material on Stevenson's life on the Pacific slope.

Tantalizing rumors drift to our ears of an afternoon of the Lively Arts of America to be held at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City on April first. This entertainment, under the patronage of Mrs. John Kingsbury Burgess, is to be given in appreciation of Gilbert Seldes's book "The Seven Lively Arts", which you will remember contained chapters on Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, etc., etc. George Gershwin, whose music for "Lady, Be Good" is the best we have heard in any recent musical comedy, promises to perform, as do those dancing youngsters, Fred and Adele Astaire, who succeed in making Mr. Gershwin's music memorable. Vincent Lopez and his orchestra, Gilda Gray, Fanny Brice herself, and four cartoonists - sketching simultaneously will be there. Mr. Seldes will act as impresario, and the motion pictures will be represented by a BOOKMAN contributor, Ralph Block. This season's débutantes are going to usher, thereby doing their bit for American art.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Few American authors have the good fortune to be illustrated by Arthur Rackham. Mr. Morley is one of the

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

the text or from luxurious full pages. Our child familiar insisted on writing these verses to go upon the title page:

My cat is quite a proper pet,
Although we have not named him yet,
He climbs upon the pillow case
And does not soil its spotless lace,

He's not deceitful, cross or sly,
Not yet, at least; I wonder why
For cats are usually so

According to the folk who know.

Though dogs in town are not the thing,
I'd like my Toto, yes, or Bing,
Yet in the country they must stay
Where they can jump and run and play.

Now dogs to cats I much prefer,
You cannot say to cats, "Here, sir!"
So I must find my pet a name,
To call it "Kitty" is a shame.

If Mr. Morley won't object-
I really hold him in respect
Unless my kitty proves a her
I think I'll call him Christopher.

"Prunes and Prisms, by Percival Prim, the Perfect Speaker" is certainly an unusual volume. Clara Virginia Townsend of Kansas City is the author. By a series of rhymes she attempts, or Percival does, to teach us the rights and wrongs of speech. There is one poem, for example, called colorfully enough "The Antics of the Irregular Verb". Alas, that a part of speech should behave so, forgetting the noble language to which it belongs. Then, there is a masterpiece, "John W. Davis, Grammatically Considered". "Improving Grandmother" has its points. Just a few couplets quoted may aid you, gentle reader, in your grammatical pilgrimage through life:

You must not set, you must not lay. ask the reason why.


To sit is always easy, and 'tis easier far to lie.

[blocks in formation]

Alfred Dunhill's luxurious "Pipe Book" arrives on our desk at a most inopportune moment, for we have just been ordered to discontinue the delightful and, according to Mr. Dunhill, thoroughly innocuous habit. We have been so much impressed by Mr. Dunhill's suave arguments in favor of this mildest of the minor vices that we have smoked three cigars, and are contemplating a possible fourth, this afternoon. Anyhow, what possible chance would a Gossip have to turn out a Gossip Shop without the aid of the most amiable of companions? Mr. Dun

hill's book is replete with illustrations and useful information concerning the history of smoking and of pipes. Here is a charming suggestion for those who make our divorce laws: "Mr. Roscoe, the anthropologist, relates of the Bonjoro, a people of North-west Uganda, that it is the duty of a wife to take charge of her husband's pipe, and have it ready for him when he comes in. If a man wants to make trouble with his wife, and yet can find no legitimate cause of complaint against her, he puts his pipe where she is likely to break it. However careful she may be, the desired accident happens at last, when the 'aggrieved' husband refuses the food she has prepared, and goes off to sleep in another hut. The wife turns in despair to her mother for advice, and after a few days her parents provide her with some beer, a goat, and a new pipe, which the husband graciously accepts, and so peace is restored."

Herbert F. Jenkins, a director of Little, Brown and Company and the head of the editorial department of that house, recently granted an interview to Edward H. Cotton of "The Christian Register". After years of experience Mr. Jenkins has come to the following conclusions concerning the publishing game:

I believe our writers give us the best they have. Naturally and rightfully the author expects compensation. But he must write what he wants to write and how he wants to write. It is not advisable for the publisher to prescribe his work. In no other way can he succeed. Our intention is to give the public as good books as we can get. We, too, must earn a living. But after all we have our ideals.

As to the outlook for the future, I think small booksellers are going to continue to start up all over the country. Books are being sold in drug-stores and other places where they were not formerly sold. In other words, we are getting a wider distribution of books, but not so wide as we should have in view of the increase in population.

[blocks in formation]


Of all Mrs. Wharton's great characters none will outlive Kate Clephane. In her, Mrs. Wharton has instilled the essence of immortality. Separated from her infant daughter and driven into a not unwelcome exile abroad by an arrogant and displeased motherin-law, Kate passes eighteen years in mediocre European resorts. A drab existence, save for one brief, happy romance. And then, her return to New York as head of the aristocratic Clephane establishment, her joyous reunion with her beautiful daughter, complete happiness, until out of the past comes the man, once loved by the mother, and now the fiancee of the daughter. A situation affording full scope to Mrs. Wharton's art. And beautifully indeed, does she handle it. "The Mother's Recompense" is a supreme achievement of America's foremost woman novelist.

$2.00 at all Booksellers

America's foremost woman novelist has been awarded the Gold Medal for 1924 of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Mrs. Wharton is the first woman to whom the award has been made. It is given in recognition of the most distinguished contributions to fiction. "The House of Mirth," "The Age of Innocence," which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1922, and "Old New York," the outstanding literary event of 1924, are some of Mrs. Wharton's notable efforts. Her new novel has been awaited with wide interest due in some degree to the fact that it is her first story dealing with society in America today.


35 West 32nd Street

New York City

« PreviousContinue »