8.13.2008

When Publishing was a Dangerous Game...

I'm away from the library for the next week so here's a double-sized portion of news from the wonderful world of Victorian publishing.

From Publishers Weekly, August 16, 1890 [No. 968].


NOT IMMORAL, ONLY TRASH


The Grand Jury, on Tuesday, we learn from the New York Times, refused to indict Manager Patrick Farrelly and two clerks of the American News Company, charged with selling obscene books. Acting District Attorney Bradford and Assistant District Attorney Lindsay sat down one day and read the books- "L'Affaire Clemenceau," "An Actor's Wife," "The Devil's Daughter," "Speaking of Ellen," and "Thou Shalt Not." They marked several passages for the instruction of the Grand Jury and said the books were nothing but trash. The Grand Jury could not find anything in them that would be considered obscene or lascivious.

NOTES ON AUTHORS


A MELANCHOLY AUTHOR went to Dumas and moaned that if he did not raise 300 francs he was afraid he would have to charcoal-smoke himself and his two children. Dumas rummaged his coffers at once, but could only find 200 francs. "But I must have three, or I and the little loves are lost," said the author. "Suppose you only suffocate yourself and one of them, then," said Dumas.

"THE little red house near Lenox, Massachusetts, where Hawthorne lived forty years ago, and wrote some of his best-known works, has been burned. Hawthorne," says Harper's Weekly, "was visited here by Longfellow, his classmate at Bowdoin College, Herman Melville, G. P. R. James, and Fannie Kemble, who lived in the vicinity. There are residents of Lenox who remember the novelist well, and are able to tell of the rambles which he and his literary friends used to take over the country. Hawthorne loved Lenox in the summer, but grew tired of the boisterous Berkshire winters, and soon after returned to the eastern part of the State."

LITERARY AND TRADE NOTES


WARD & DRUMMOND will publish, Sept. 1, a new book by Col. Thos. W. Knox, entitled, "Tetotlar Dick."

ISAAC PITMAN & SONS, 3 East 14th St., N.Y., will issue, September 1, the "Complete Bible in Phonography." It is now 20 years since the last edition was published.

THE Lew Vanderpoole Publishing Co. have just published what they rightly denominate "a literary wonder"- a story by a thirteen-year-old child, Jessie Agnes Andrews. Its name is "Eteocles, a Tale of Antioch," and it is said to be "a picture of the stirring times of persecution."

D. VAN NOSTRAND CO. have just published "Electrical Light Fitting," by John W. Urquhart, an excellent handbook for electrical engineers; "The Naval Annual for 1890," edited by Thomas A. Brassey; and in their Science Series, Frederick Waller's "Practical Dynamo Building for Amateurs."

WARD, LOCK & CO. have just issued "A Dead Man's Diary," by a writer who prefers to remain anonymous, but who is said already to have published essays and stories "that have been received with high appreciation on both sides of the Atlantic." This record of experience in which he was believed to be dead, is written with a serious moral purpose, and the author's teaching, if put into practice, would conduce greatly to the happiness of the world.

NOVELS dealing with the outdoor life are welcome at this season, and a special interest will be felt in the graphic sketches of yachting and of a Canadian athletic contest which appear in the new novel, "Geoffrey Hampstead," just published in the Town and Country Library by D. Appleton & Co. The Author, Thomas Stinson Jarvis, a barrister of Toronto, evidently knows from actual experience the excitement and the perils which he describes so vividly that he should have a sympathetic audience even among those whose interest in outdoor life in indirect.

C.S. PRATT, 155 Sixth Avenue, reports that his bookstore opened a short time ago is proving a successful enterprise. Mr. Pratt firmly believes that the book business can still be made to pay if a bookseller knows his business and is not afraid of hard work. He has little patience with those who sell everything else along with books, and is determined to make his bookstore pay without doing any catering except to the literary tastes of his patrons. We heartily wish him success, and hope his capital of hope and energy will not be too severely drawn upon.

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