Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 232



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

Page 232

with him for a series of articles which, for two years thereafter, was published in the magazine.

The editor now sailed for home, content with his assembly of foreign “features.”

On the steamer, Bok heard of the recent discovery of some unpublished letters by Louisa May Alcott, written to five girls, and before returning to Philadelphia, he went to Boston, got into touch with the executors of the will of Miss Alcott, brought the letters back with him to read, and upon reaching Philadelphia, wired his acceptance of them for publication.

But the traveller was not at once to enjoy his home. After only a day in Philadelphia he took a train for Indianapolis. Here lived the most thoroughly American writer of the day, in Bok’s estimation: James Whitcomb Riley. An arrangement, perfected before his European visit, had secured to Bok practically exclusive rights to all the output of his Chicago friend Eugene Field, and he felt that Riley’s work would admirably complement that of Field. This Bok explained to Riley, who readily fell in with the idea, and the editor returned to Philadelphia with a contract to see Riley’s next dozen poems. A little later Field passed away. His last poem, “The Dream Ship,” and his posthumous story “The Werewolf” appeared in The Ladies’ Home Journal.

A second series of articles was also arranged for with Mr. Harrison, in which he was to depict, in a personal way, the life of a President of the United States, the domestic life of the White House, and the financial arrangements made by the government for the care of the chief executive and his family. The first series of articles



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