Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 228



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

Page 228

  This is the first and only copy of “The Lost Chord” which has ever been sent by me to an American publisher. I believe all the reprints in America are more or less incorrect. I have pleasure in sending this copy to my friend, Mr. Edward W. Bok, for publication in The Ladies’ Home Journal for which he gives me an honorarium, the only one I have ever received from an American publisher for this song.

At least, thought Bok, he had healed one man’s soreness toward America. But the next day he encountered another. On his way to Paris, he stopped at Amiens to see Jules Verne. Here he found special difficulty in that the aged author could not speak English, and Bok knew only a few words of casual French. Finally a neighbor’s servant who knew a handful of English words was commandeered, and a halting three-cornered conversation was begun.

Bok found two grievances here: the author was incensed at the American public because it had insisted on classing his books as juveniles, and accepting them as stories of adventure, whereas he desired them to be recognized as prophetic stories based on scientific facts—an insistence which, as all the world knows, has since been justified. Bok explained, however, that the popular acceptance of the author’s books as stories of adventure was by no means confined to America; that even in his own country the same was true. But Jules Verne came back with the rejoinder that if the French were a pack of fools, that was no reason why the Americans should also be.

The argument weighed somewhat with the author,



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