Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 166

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 166


EDWARD BOK has often been referred to as the one “who made The Ladies’ Home Journal out of nothing,” who “built it from the ground up,” or, in similar terms, implying that when he became its editor in 1889 the magazine was practically non-existent. This is far from the fact. The magazine was begun in 1883, and had been edited by Mrs. Cyrus H. K. Curtis, for six years, under her maiden name of Louisa Knapp, before Bok undertook its editorship. Mrs. Curtis had laid a solid foundation of principle and policy for the magazine: it had achieved a circulation of 440,000 copies a month when she transferred the editorship, and it had already acquired such a standing in the periodical world as to attract the advertisements of Charles Scribner’s Sons, which Mr. Doubleday, and later Bok himself, gave to the Philadelphia magazine—advertising which was never given lightly, or without the most careful investigation of the worth of the circulation of a periodical.

What every magazine publisher knows as the most troublous years in the establishment of a periodical, the first half-dozen years of its existence, had already been weathered by the editor and publisher. The wife as editor and the husband as publisher had combined to lay a solid basis upon which Bok had only to build: his task was simply to rear a structure upon the foundation already laid. It is to the vision and to the genius of the

XVI. First Years as a Woman’s Editor
 

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