Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 172



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

Page 172

at the summit of its usefulness, with Margaret Bottome its president. Edward Bok had heard Mrs. Bottome speak, had met her personally, and decided that she was the editor for the department he had in mind.

“I want it written in an intimate way as if there were only two persons in the world, you and the person reading. I want heart to speak to heart. We will make that the title,” said the editor, and unconsciously he thus created the title that has since become familiar wherever English is spoken: “Heart to Heart Talks.” The title gave the department an instantaneous hearing; the material in it carried out its spirit, and soon Mrs. Bottome’s department rivalled, in popularity, the page by Ruth Ashmore.

These two departments more than anything else, and the irresistible picture of a man editing a woman’s magazine, brought forth an era of newspaper paragraphing and a flood of so-called “humorous” references to the magazine and editor. It became the vogue to poke fun at both. The humorous papers took it up, the cartoonists helped it along, and actors introduced the name of the magazine on the stage in plays and skits. Never did a periodical receive such an amount of gratuitous advertising. Much of the wit was absolutely without malice: some of it was written by Edward Bok’s best friends, who volunteered to “let up” would he but raise a finger.

But he did not raise the finger. No one enjoyed the “paragraphs” more heartily when the wit was good, and in that case, if the writer was unknown to him, he sought



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