During the 46 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 account of New York publishing and the American literary scene during its richest period. The book extends beyond the inner workings at Scribners to Wheelcock's 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. It 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, the recollections provide a vivid social history of the affluent society of his boyhood and youth before and after the turn of the 19th century.
Matthew J. Bruccoli, the Emily Brown Jefferies Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, is the leading authority on the House of Scribner and its authors. He is the author of Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the editorial director of the Dictionary of Literary Biography. He lives in Columbia. Judith Baughman is the author of Literary Masters: F. Scott Fitzgerald. She lives in Elgin, South Carolina.