Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 384



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

Page 384

appear a little ‘bobbed’ off, but you are a much better judge of that than I… . I leave it altogether to you.”

It was always interesting to Bok, as a study of mental processes, to note how differently he and some author with whom he would talk it over would see the method of treating some theme. He was discussing the growing unrest among American women with Rudyard Kipling at the latter’s English home; and expressed the desire that the novelist should treat the subject and its causes.

They talked until the early hours, when it was agreed that each should write out a plan, suggest the best treatment, and come together the next morning. When they did so, Kipling had mapped out the scenario of a novel; Bok had sketched out the headings of a series of analytical articles. Neither one could see the other’s viewpoint, Kipling contending for the greater power of fiction and Bok strongly arguing for the value of the direct essay. In this instance, the point was never settled, for the work failed to materialize in any form!

If the readers of The Ladies’ Home Journal were quick to support its editor when he presented an idea that appealed to them, they were equally quick to tell him when he gave them something of which they did not approve. An illustration of this occurred during the dance-craze that preceded the Great War. In 1914, America was dance-mad, and the character of the dances rapidly grew more and more offensive. Bok’s readers, by the hundreds, urged him to come out against the tendency.

The editor looked around and found that the country’s terpsichorean idols were Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle;



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