An insider history of Charles Scribner's Sons during its glory years by the poet who became editor in chief of the House of Scribner
During the forty-six years that John Hall Wheelock (1886–1978)—an influential literary figure and respected poet—worked at Charles Scribner's Sons, the company distinguished itself as the leading literary publishing house in America. During this golden era, Scribners included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, James Jones, Alan Paton, George Santayana, and Thomas Wolfe among its authors. As the editor who assisted and then succeeded the legendary Maxwell Perkins as editor in chief, Wheelock worked with some of the nation's most acclaimed—yet difficult—authors. Wheelock's memoir of his remarkable life and career offers an unparalleled account of New York publishing and the American literary scene during its richest period. Wheelock's memoir extends beyond the inner workings at Scribners to his own career as a poet and his friendships with a wide circle of literary figures, including Conrad Aiken, Vachel Lindsay, Sara Teasdale, and Elinor Wylie. Wheelock's dictated autobiography traces his writing of poetry from a Harvard apprenticeship when he published his first collection in collaboration with Van Wyck Brooks, to his mature years as an esteemed figure in American letters. In addition to documenting the profession of authorship in America, Wheelock's recollections provide a vivid social history of the affluent society of his boyhood and youth before and after the turn of the nineteenth century.
Matthew J. Bruccoli (1931–2008) was the Emily Brown Jefferies Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of South Carolina and the leading authority on the House of Scribner and its authors. He was the editorial director of the Dictionary of Literary Biography and the author or editor of some one hundred books.
Judith S. Baughman is the author of Literary Masters: F. Scott Fitzgerald. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina.