London, Munich, New York, and Mt. Tamalpais [CA]: 1905-1907.
55 pp. 8vo. Old folds. Very Good. Item #308302
An archive of letters from Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948) to James MacArthur of Harper Brothers, publisher of Atherton’s Rulers of Kings (1904); The Travelling Thirds (1905); The Bell in the Fog (1905); Ancestors (1907); and California: An Intimate History (1914). The letters concern proposed works or works in progress, payment terms, plot lines, publicity, etc.
January 28, : "Would the Harpers give me 20 per ct for every new novel and $5000 advance? I had $3000 advance on The Conqueror, so this does not seem an immodest request. I suppose they … would be able to bring it out this spring– Macmillan & Co will put it to press here in about a month–if I can get it finished–and I could send over proof … The title is Rulers of Kings, the idea, the conflict between the two greatest forces in the world–money in America & royalty in Europe. . . ."
February 10, : "Thank you so much for arranging about Rulers of Kings..."
February 29, : "Must I have a new picture taken? Very well I’ll try in this week … I hope to get off the last proofs on Wednesday and if you could copyright it before the 7th so much the better. This is such a propitious time for it here. . . .
I have told a number of public men about the book and . . . all think it will make a sensation. One thing I have accomplished . . . is that all the men in public life read my books, particularly Senator North and The Conqueror. . . ."
February 28, : "I can see your smile when I tell you that I … really have settled on a title at last. It is Ancestors…."
MacArthur joined Harper Brothers as a literary advisor and editor in 1901 following stints at the Bookman (New York) and Doubleday, and remained there until his death in 1909. Atherton (1857-1948), who also wrote under the names Asmodeus and Frank Lin, "produced thirty-four novels, seven short fiction collections, six history-based books and essays, and many newspaper and magazine articles on feminism, politics, war, and other contemporary issues. By fictitionally portraying the "new woman" at the threshold of the twentieth century, she highlighted the psychological problems facing women in changing societies in both America and Europe. Atherton's work concerns subjects similar to those of authors such as Mary Wilkins Freeman, Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, and Willa Cather, although her work is richer in variety of theme and background" (American National Biography).
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