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If any of the readers of THE WRITER have any trouble in keeping track of their manuscripts, or would like to keep a compact record of their work, this system can be relied upon to

give satisfaction. It is not copyrighted, and any one is welcome to use it who cares to. F. M. Howard.



We have, all of us, learned that the story of any human life, even the humblest and most uneventful, would be full of interest if truly and sympathetically told.

If this is true of human life as a whole, it is more strikingly true of those lives which have put themselves en rapport with large classes of people by what may be presumed to be, in a measure, self-revelations.

In reading the works of all the great masters of Fiction, we are constantly peering after the man behind the mask. The life of the author himself interests us more deeply than his greatest creations, especially if we ourselves, however modestly, venture to claim a share in that magic freemasonry which knits together in one band all the devotees of Literature. To us it is the greatest of the arts and its masters are the crowned leaders of the world.

And so, though the subject of this sketch assures me that there is "really nothing to tell," I am certain that even the outward aspects of this life, which is, to those who read between the lines, more than half hinted, will yield somewhat of interest and helpfulness to those who, not having won reputation, dream of it afar off.

Maria Louise Pool is in every sense a daughter of the soil. Born in the old Bay State, not far from that rugged coast the salty flavor of which gives pungency to many of her earlier stories, never having traveled excepting in her own country, and having an almost passionate attachment to her home, she came to womanhood surrounded by its influences, apparent and latent, its historic earth meaning more to her than a kingdom the other side of the ocean, its capital city the one city of the world, its literary coterie the spur of her ambition and the Mecca

of her hopes. I do not know how far she has outgrown the worship of her early idols, though, I dare say, some of them were found to be mere simulacra, men of straw, without weight or substance; but, as a girl of a certain latent intensity of nature, which you felt rather than defined, it did her no harm to have before her such models and heroes as the New England classic authors. Ideals and tastes inspired and formed by such writers as Lowell, and Holmes, and Rose Terry Cooke, and Mrs. Spofford, and the rest of the long chain of illustrious names, which, for twenty years, made the Atlantic Monthly the star of the magazine world, are good working forces and precious capital to an ambitious writer. No doubt by them Miss Pool was helped to handle her creations in a manner all her own.

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peared in the Galaxy, that New York magazine which came as a protest against New England exclusiveness, and, like all protests unsustained by wealth and influence, died too soon. Later, the New York Post and Tribune began to welcome her papers. Her first book, "A Vacation in a Buggy," is an aggregation of letters contributed to the New York Evening Post. Their freshness, humor, and, perhaps most of all, their individual flavor attracted the attention of the publishing house of G. P. Putnam's Sons, and they solicited of the author permission to put them into covers. The result is a bright and charming little book.

It was soon after the appearance of this first book that Miss Pool made her second visit to the South, this time tarrying for some weeks in the mountains of North Carolina. While

she was here the proof-sheets of "Tenting at Stony Beach" passed through her hands, and out of this visit came the inspiration of numerous attractive letters to the New York Tribune, and, later, of "Dally," up to that date her most important work.

Her studies of the poor white type of mountaineer are most perfectly realized in the slight sketch of Dally's miserable brother, whose dwarfed soul had a single noble attribute - his love for "thur mountings." Dally herself is indebted for her gifts and graces mainly to her creator's imagination. Like Miss Murfree's

heroines, she was made, not born.

Following "Dally" appeared in surprisingly rapid succession, "Roweny in Boston," "Mrs. Keats Bradford," "The Two Salvinis," "Katharine North," and "Out of Step," all of them testifying that Miss Pool is at her best when her foot is on her native heath and her types are of her own New England.

This is not meant as ungracious criticism. This world is not a microcosm, and whoever takes it for his field must inevitably miss some of its most notable and splendid details - those salient details which the specialist eagerly appropri


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Miss Pool's genre pictures of New England have an honored niche of their own in our literature. They are not like the work of some of the older writers, but they are like New England. They may not have that subtle, elusive grace which we call the literary quality, but that skill which selects from the great mass of common-place, humdrum living that which is individual and characteristic and photographs it with such startling vividness that the secret of itself stands revealed what is it but the highest literary art? Surely this must be genius which thrills us with interest in the fortunes of persons whom in actual life we should dislike, which moves us to smiles and laughter and to tears as readily, which enwraps us and penetrates us, without and within, with the atmosphere of New England, which renews for us the breath of her pine woods, the pale beauty of her late spring, the sense of her thrift, her comfort and faculty," her shrewd commonsense, with its twinkle of humor, her kindly, warm heart under its snow of reticence and

silence, her straight-laced morals, so alien to this generation, and unpractical ideals yet more alien, and so strangely incompatible with the rest of the New England character! You can tell your friend of the West or South that if he wishes to know New England, he may read Miss Pool's stories, and his future personal knowledge will not belie you.


I think it is their very veraciousness which has made some home critics lukeor indifferent. Possibly, New England does not like to see herself "as in a glass," for the picture is not wholly flattering. It has the merciless truthfulness of the photograph. The high cheek bones and stern visage of the old Puritan are there. The outlines are too hard for beauty sometimes, too severe, too literal. We thought we had changed all that, comfortably outgrown it, become quite modern and gracefully conventional, and, behold, here comes one who shows us that blood tells, tells for all time and under all conditions, and can by no means of sophistical draping ever be permanently concealed.

Verily, Praise-God-Bare-bones and Miss Sargeant, of the Browning club, are blood-relations.

New York loves New England, - and smiles at her whimsies, and reaches out a cordial hand to this delightful artist, but the soul of cautious New England doubts. Let us wait awhile! Do we really look like that? In the mean time, is it possible that we have, right here, the great American Novel-and not one, but several?

It almost goes without saying that such stories as these of Miss Pool's are not done as tasks, or primarily for financial rewards. She is a natural writer and has always loved her work, and, most fortunately, she has had no tastes incompatible with a whole-hearted devotion to it. Though not unsocial, she is indifferent to society in the popular sense. Most of her life has been spent away from great towns and their distractions. Such seclusion, indeed, has been essential. The exactions of a peculiarly nervous organization were early recognized and the needful concessions were made not unwillingly. Always a lover of the country, she has found in the retirement of the old farmhouse, where, until recently, she has dwelt for many years, not

only a happy home in the company of the friend of her heart, but also the leisure and quietude suited to nourish her genius.

The devotion of her faithful friend, intelligent, sympathetic, unselfish, tender, has been an important element in Miss Pool's life and a factor in her success. By her, all troublesome worries have been kept at bay, all vexations deprived of their sting, and the common cares of their dual life cheerfully assumed. The friendship of these two women, cemented more firmly as the years go by, adds a touch of romance to their dignified and noble lives. May it be long before the unkindness of fate breaks the tie.

Miss Pool's life has not been marked by vicissitudes. It has been full of congenial work, varied only by simple diversions. For some years she kept a riding pony for her use; later an afternoon drive with the horse that was "not a woman's horse" was wont to brush the cobwebs from her brain. Though a true lover of fine scenery, she is a bad traveler, the incidents of the journey making havoc with her nerves. Lovers of dogs will be pleased to know that she is one of that unnamed guild, and, as she says, "proud to have them for friends." Two beautiful terriers are distinguished members of her family, and never to be long separated from her without grief.

Miss Pool's hours of work are always in the morning. Her characters are, she says, "real folks" to her, and if she keeps their company late in the day, she is apt to be up with them till

the small hours. But from nine to twelve she is nearly always busy at her desk.

She has not reached her present distinction at a bound, but, like others, has found that the majority of editors do not hanker after manuscript from any one upon whom the world has not set its seal of approval. She confesses to having "a fine collection of the printed forms of refusal from publications." The form of declination that pleased her sense of the humorous most was that of the magazine which thanked her for the opportunity of reading her manuscript, but "preferred to publish matter that its readers liked." She is, at present, taking an enforced rest on account of impaired health. Her large circle of readers will warmly hope that this recess will not need to be long, and that the future will be affluent of successes for one who has so bravely earned them.

So far as the present writer is aware, Maria Louise Pool is the only New England storywriter who has not been helped in her career by birth, position, friends, or influence. She may well be proud of her fame, for she has won it solely by her own gifts and industry. Her heart beats warm and strong with the life-blood of the people. So born and so nurtured, she has become their best interpreter and is, in the truest sense, a writer of that great To-day, which so boldly lords it over the fast darkening Past. Amanda M. Hale.



For the information of those who may be discouraged by the assertion that it is impossible for the young author to subsist by the fruits of his pen, I wish to say that, without any previous effort in that line, I took up that very task in January, 1894, and since then have supported a family of five comfortably without any

aid from other sources. Therefore, I say

that what I have done others can do, and that young writers who have ability can subsist on pen efforts if they combine with it an idea of the value of time and the use of business methods in disposing of their articles.

A woman is said to be greatly handicapped when she attempts to dispose of literary material. I venture to dispute this, for a woman

who can write well is welcomed and receives her full meed of praise. In a newspaper office it is hard to convince the city editor that a woman can do the work usually given to a man, but if the woman has "a nose for news," courage, and does n't mind wetting her dress and burning off her overshoes getting a good description of a few fires, she can conquer even the city editor, and comes in for praise. If she takes a man's work, and does it "man well," there will

not long be discrimination against her. News paper work, except the insignificant average society work (which is not real newspaper work), is hard for a woman, but it is the best training the literary worker can have. Never can she forget the terse phrase: "Get the meat ax!" or see the lopping off of her superfluous phrases and numerous ill-placed adjectives, without learning to be careful in composition. CINCINNATI, O. Elizabeth Cherry Haire.


The following tributes to the memory of Dr. Holmes were received too late for publication in the Holmes Memorial number of THE WRITER:

The last time I saw Dr. Holmes, except in public, was at his home in Beverly, three summers ago. He seemed very well, but as he put on his spectacles to read a paragraph from a book by his side, he said :—

"Not that there is anything the matter with my eyes, but books are not so well printed now as they used to be; and, though voices don't sound quite so clear as they did when I was younger, it's from no defect in my hearingpeople don't speak distinctly in these days; and if my step is not so firm as it was once, it is only because the sidewalks are uneven!" Thus, with grace and cheer, he dismissed lightly the infirmities of age.

Edna Dean Proctor.

I read the "Autocrat" when I was a boy, and thus Dr. Holmes became the first American writer to me. I have since come to know Emerson, Hawthorne, and Poe; but somehow I have never moved the "Autocrat " from the place it took when I was a boy. I always think of it just as I do of the dear old doctor — as sweet.

There are not a great many written things which have that quality, I think.

Thos. Nelson Page.

I have only reached home this afternoon from Europe. I found your request awaiting me. I suppose your November number is already out, so that it is too late for me to express in it my sense of the great loss it is, not only to the world of letters, but to the world of loving friends who held him dear, that Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes has left the sphere so long enriched by his gracious presence.

Louise Chandler Moulton.

28 RUTLAND Square, Boston, November 6, 1894.

My heart is too full yet of our loss to write of Dr. Holmes. He is the last of our great; and none of them were dearer to the American E. S. P. Ward. people.


Yours, asking for a paragraph, came too late. Pray don't think me churlish. If I could have had your letter in time, believe me, I should have plucked with sad, sweet pleasure the greenest bay leaf in the Sierras for the tomb of dear, gentle, genial, and whole-souled Dr. Holmes. Joaquin Miller.

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