Page images

book and regale yourself with the section of verse compiled by F. P. A. It starts out gaily with the famous "Tobacco is a dirty weed" and the equally famous "Study Hour", beloved of all column fans, and hops about from Shakespeare to Keats to King Solomon to Deems Taylor and what not. But I haven't yet done with the book. Helen Rowland edits "The World in Epigram"; Jack Bechdolt contributes suggestions for "Play" ranging from campfire directions to party games; and Mabel Claire instructs in the art of indoor and outdoor cooking. Surely a serious study of the volume, added to the vaunted fifteen minutes' reading a day, ought to turn out supermen in any social circle.

George Payne of Cincinnati tells us that what is thought to be one of the most important collections of ancient bibles in the world recently came into the possession of the Cincinnati Public Library. In the collection are three of the most valuable bibles in the world: "Biblia Maxima Volumines" or "The Bishop's Bible" printed by Richard Carmardenmat, Rouen, in 1586; the Miles Coverdale Bible, the first printed in English, in 1522, and "Biblia Paperum", printed in 1508 in Venice, and remarkable for its wood. cuts and xylography. It is larger than the copy in the British Museum and has one leaf more than that copy. The collection also includes many others. Somewhat different from bibles, but nevertheless with a significance, is Number One of a new poetry magazine, "The Gypsy", hailing also from Cincinnati, which seems to be attempting to rival Cleveland as a centre of the arts. The editors are H. A. Conley Joslin, George Elliston, and Halley Groesbeck. Among other contributors is James Stephens.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

horse, sitting about all day while my elders discussed the town happenings. Then there was a grand orangeman celebration, when our horse, frightened by the sound of drums and trumpets, ran away and threw us gaily into a ditch. Evenings on dark roads, when tramps were about, and days spent with the horses in the barns- all this, and the charm of the country, the scent of raspberries and of hay, seep through the pages of "Chez Nous" and have, withal, the touch of the French Canadian peasantry.

[ocr errors]

The New York "World" has entered the lists with its selection of best short stories, and the method of so doing seems to me a little worse than those previously hit upon. If you select a group of editors, and each one picks a

story, it stands to reason that you will get a curious assortment of stories, and no very definite viewpoint. I really prefer the opinion of one man, even though he be an Edward J. O'Brien, than a hodgepodge made by a committee. At least, you finally get to know the man's particular slant on life. Here is the first result of their efforts:

1. MICHAEL ARLEN "The Dancer of Paris." Nominated by Sewell Haggard, Everybody's.

2. F. R. BUCKLEY -"The Primitive Method." Nominated by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman, Adventure. 3. A. M. CHISHOLM "Tim of Bush Valley." Selected by Charles Angew MacLean, Popular.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

6. SAMUEL A. DERIEUX "Wild Bill McCorkle." Selected by Merle Crowell, American.

7. MEIGS O. FROST "Shackles of Service." Nominated by Harry E. Maule, Short Stories.

8. ZONA GALE "The Biography of Blade." Selected by Carl Van Doren, Century.

9. ELLEN GLASGOW "Romance and Sally Byrd." Nominated by Gertrude B. Lane, Woman's Home Companion.

10. INEZ HAYNES IRWIN "The Spring Flight." Selected by Harry P. Burton, McCall's.

11. W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM "The Letter." Selected by Ray Long, Hearst's International. 12. SAMUEL MERWIN "More Stately Mansions." Nominated by Karl E. Harriman, Red Book.

[blocks in formation]

It seems to me there have been more so called literary parties of late. In Boston, the Amy Lowell dinner was one of the best. Most impressive was President Lowell, and a covey of Harvard professors. Then, too, I must say that there is something about the ladies of Boston that sets them off from the rest of the world. They have grace. They have poise. They have a peculiar distinction. I have a feeling that the lady who sat at my left, behind one of the loveliest pink orchid sprays imaginable, would feel hurt if she should see her name in print, so it must simply go on record here that she was one of the kindliest of dinner companions. On my right, behind nodding white blossoms, was Ada Dwyer Russell, and proud she was, for her constant advice and helpfulness to Miss Lowell during the trying period of the composition of the Keats book has been of incalculable assistance. From Boston I sought Utica, and was fascinated by the young men and women of the Utica Country Day School. They showed me their newspaper and their magazine, the cover of which was a linoleum print made and printed entirely by themselves. Frank R. Page has a most interesting outfit there, and has carried out many educational experiments. One of the most fascinating to me was the library he is developing in each schoolroom. Every scholar buys one book and contributes it. volumes stay in the classrooms all year, then are taken home by their owners at the session's close. In the evening a charming district attorney told me of various engaging criminals. I also made the discovery that Nalbro Bartley has been living in Utica. It was not the district attorney, however, who told me. Mrs. Bartley's young son, Jack, black headed and filled with the joy of life on a spring day, was


unearthed at luncheon time in the school. Later, his mother told me that she was hard at work on a new story to be called "The Orchid Door". Mrs. Bartley recently came on to New York City to sign a contract with her new publishers, then without a word to anyone went back to Utica, signed a marriage license, and was promptly married. She informs me that she will soon move to Niagara Falls, and that her son Jack is to go to a military academy, where she hopes he will learn to carry a musket and if necessary do penance in the guardhouse. "I don't know what I'll do without him", she confessed; "but I'm sure it's the best thing for a boy to be away from home." Sensible mother. As I start tonight for Detroit, there comes a memory of the lady there, earlier in the year, who asked, "Do you think I ought to let my son read 'The Plastic Age'?"

Tony Sarg, round and jovial and full of ideas, tells me that he is busy making store window displays, and that he has finished a new children's book all about animals. I saw him, with Mrs. Sarg, at the exceedingly gala opening of Gloria Swanson's "Madame Sans Gêne". To this came all the world arrayed in costly garments, beating its way through impressive crowds on the sidewalks and in the streets to see Gloria in a gold gown, back from Paris with a title and a new hair cut. Miss Swanson's coiffure proves as varied as Isabel Paterson's hats. Mrs. Paterson, busy in the daytime on "Books" at the "Herald-Tribune", writes in the evenings on a new novel. She complained bitterly that she had started out to write a nice love story of two young things in the Elizabethan period. Then Queen Elizabeth happened into the tale, and is running away with it! Was there ever such a woman?

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

W. and G. Foyle of London. They have called it "The Romance of a Bookshop", and it is the story of the development of a great business from nothing. In 1902 two sons of a Shoreditch grocer failed in civil service examinations. Having no further use for their textbooks, they decided to sell them by means of an advertisement. The answers to this advertisement were so many that these two clever young men perceived a market. The result · a firm with a stock of more than 1,250,000 volumes on shelves measuring 22 miles.



Schools start hither and yon. favorite school is, of course, the Bread Loaf School of English. There I shall hie me in July, to consort with violent Sidney Cox from out west, who teaches English with such a verve and dash that he could scare a tin woodman into flights of poetry. Then, there is the Paramount Picture School, which the Famous Players are starting in their New York City studio. Here, the entrance requirements are somewhat different from those of Bread Loaf common school education is all that is necessary. Boys must be from eighteen to thirty; and although a girl may enter at sixteen, she may not apply after twenty five. Both boys and girls must have "good looks", further defined as exceptional beauty of face and figure. Tuition, moreover, is five hundred dollars a term. It's what I call a school de luxe. In the capable hands of Winifred Lenihan, famed as Saint Joan, the Theatre Guild School of Acting will start functioning next season. I have not yet seen the syllabus, but if Miss Lenihan has anything to do with it, there will be a large infusion of sanity, you may be sure. Actual beauty will not, of course, be demanded. On the stage it is possible

for makeup to do almost anything to the face and figure; but the movie camera is a cruel detective to ferret out disguises.

From Minnesota comes word that local celebrities are being honored by the women's clubs. The State Federation at its midwinter meeting gave them a send off, while the following newspaper account of a club program shows that home talent does not go neglected in the twin cities:

Minnesota Writers' Day was observed Wednesday by the Merriam Park Women's Club. The club met at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church, Summit avenue and Avon street. Those featured on the program which the women sponsored, included poets.

James Gray, dramatic critic of the "Pioneer Press-Dispatch", and author of a novel soon to be published by Scribner's, gave an interesting talk on St. Paul writers, the Boyds, the Flandraus, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others. Mrs. B. F. Pelton read a number of poems by Robert Cary, some of those from the pen of Sarah Buffem Ramaley and Blanche J. Chapin's "Minnesota". Mrs. J. A. Bennett read from the works of Lily Long and Arthur Upson, the young poet who met a tragic death in Lake Bemidji a dozen or so years ago. Cushing Wright talked on "The Art of the Short Story", and also read a detective story of his authorship.

Prizes will be awarded by THE BOOKMAN for the best poems appearing in "The Fun Shop" between June 1 and December 25. "The Fun Shop", edited by Maxson Foxhall Judell, is a department of humor, appearing in eighty five leading newspapers of the United States and Canada, with which we are cooperating in a contest for the purpose of discovering more writers of humorous verse. All the poems accepted and published during this period by Mr. Judell will be paid for at his regular rates in addition to being entered in the contest. The awards will be $50 for first prize, $25 for second prize, $15 for third prize, $10 for fourth prize,

[ocr errors]


and twenty five one dollar prizes. The contest is open to everyone. poems must be original-not previously published, not translations or adaptations. They must be no longer than 24 lines, and shorter if possible. They should be submitted to Maxson F. Judell, Fun Shop Headquarters, 250 Park Avenue, New York. A second contest will extend from December 26 to May 1, 1926. Any contestant may submit as many poems as he desires. Each poem must contain the name and complete address of the author. And no manuscript will be returned unless it is accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. The judges will be Maxson Foxhall Judell, chairman; Professor William Lyon Phelps of Yale; M. E. Foster, editor of the Houston "Chronicle"; W. L. Harrison, managing editor of the Oklahoma "Oklahoman"; F. W. Clarke, managing editor of the Atlanta "Constitution"; Harris M. Crist, managing editor of the Brooklyn "Eagle"; John Farrar, editor of THE BOOKMAN; and Frank Crowninshield, editor of "Vanity Fair". This is the only prize we know of being offered for verse of this sort, and it should be an appetizer for the columnist, the jingle writer, and even the more serious minded poet who occasionally is to be found chuckling over a gay parody of his own manufacture.

[blocks in formation]

and that's the way I like to read, too not just the things they tell me I should, or the publishers say I must,

From "The story of Wilbur the Hat"

but just the things I really want to read, such as going back to shout out a few lines from the "Iliad", or to chuckle over "Tristram Shandy", or to wish I could read Dante so that I could make out the other side of my Italian-English "Inferno". Now one of the first books I'd take under those circumstances would be Hendrick Van Loon's "The Story of Wilbur the Hat". It has no sense or perhaps it has cosmic significance. Either way, you will find magic in Mr. Van Loon's illustrations. I like particularly the one of hell. It looks like such a warm place, which is the way we've been told that it should look, and I'm all for living up to the old traditions - in the imagination, at least. I like also the picture wherein Wilbur is floating in the midst of a lake, accompanied by Cedric the cricket.

« PreviousContinue »