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CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP. The Subscription is One Guinea annually, payable on the Ist of January of each year. The sum of Ten Cuineas for life membership entitles the subscriber to full membership of the Society.
Authors of published works alone are eligible for member. ship.
Those who desire to assist the Society but are not authors are admitted as Associates, on the same subscription, but have no voice in the government of the Society,
Cheques and Postal Orders should be crossed “The Imperial Bank, Limited, Westminster Branch."
Those who wish to be proposed as members may send their names at any time to the Secretary at the Society's Offices, when they will receive a form for the enumeration of their works. Subscriptions entered alter the Ist of October will cover the next year.
The Secretary may be personally consulted between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5, except on Saturdays. It is preferable that an appointment should be made by letter.
The Author, the Organ of the Society, can be procured through all neu sageats, or from the publisher, A. P. Watt, 2, Paternoster Square, E.C.
A copy will be sent free to any member of the Society for one twelvemonth, dating from May, 1889. It is hoped, however, that most members will subscribe to the paper. The yearly subscription is 6s. 6d., including postage, which may be sent to the Secretary, 4, Portugal Street, W.C.
With regard to the reading of MSS. for young writers, the fee for this service is one guinea. MSS. will be read and reported upon for others than members, but members cannot have their works read for nothing.
In all cases where an opinion is desired upon a manuscript, the author should send with it a table of contents. A typewritten scenario is also of very great assistance.
It must be understood that such a reader's report, however favourable, does not assist the author towards publication.
WARNINGS. READERS of the Author are earnestly desired to make the following warnings as widely known as possible. They are based on the experience of six years' work upon the dangers to which literary property is exposed :-(1) Never to sign any agreement of which the alleged cost
of production forms an integral part, unless an opportunity of proving the correctness of the figures
is given them. (2) Never to enter into any correspondence with publishers,
especially with advertising publishers, who are not recommended by experienced friends, or by this
Society. (3) NEVER, on any account whatever, to bind themselves
down for future work to any one firm of publishers. (4) Never to accept any proposal of royalty without con
sultation with the Society, or, at least, ascertaining exactly what the agreement gives to the author and
what to the publisher. (5) NEVER to accept any offer of money for MSS., with
out previously taking advice of the Society. (6) Never to accept any pecuniary risk or responsibility
without advice. (7) Never, when a MS. has been resused by respectable
houses, to pay others, whatever promises they may
put forward, for the production of the work. (8) Never to sign away American or foreign rights.
Keep them. Refuse to sign an agreement containing a clause which reserves them for the publisher. If the publisher insists, take away the MS. and offer it
to another. (9) Never forget that publishing is a business, like any
other business, totally unconnected with philanthropy, charity, or pure love of literature. You have to do
with business men. Society's Offices :4, PORTUGAL STREET, LINCOLN'S INN Fields.
NOTES AND NEWS.
Let us learn how the Americans pay honour to their men of letters.
On Monday last the President issued the HE International Copyright Act has not following order :
passed the United States Senate after all.
“EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, tions over American honesty for nothing. Also
" January 19th, 1891. all our outcry over the deadly injury the Bill was
“The death of George Bancroft, which occurred going to inflict upon the British printer for nothing. Why did it fail to pass ? My own ignorant belief
in the City of Washington on Saturday, January is that the Senate made a discovery. They learned
17, at 3.40 o'clock p.m., removes from among the that the Bill would not inflict any injury on any
living one of the most distinguished Americans.
As an expression of the public loss and sorrow, the Briton at all, but quite the reverse. They, therefore, in their well-established friendship’to this flags of all the executive departments at Washing
ton, and of the public buildings in the cities country, resolved not to pass the Bill. An American friend tells me that their action was
through which the funeral party is to pass, will be probably due to bribery. Fancy our own feelings of this eminent statesman, scholar and historian
placed at half-mast to-morrow, and until the body if Lord Monkswell's Bill should be defeated through shall rest in the State that gave him to his country the bribery of his brother Peers !
and to the world."
The Secretary of the Navy also ordered that Is it to be Club or House? A large number of
the Navy Department be draped in mourning for replies have been received to the request for thirty days, and that all business be suspended information as to the advisability of starting one
therein on the day of the funeral ; and, in the or other of these institutions. An analysis of the
Senate, Mr. Hoar moved that the adjournment be replies gives the following result-up to this date :- till 12 o'clock on Tuesday, in order to give For the Club, 60 per cent.
Senators who desired to attend the funeral an For the House, 30
opportunity to do so. He said that Mr. Bancroft's For neither, 8
name had been honoured by the Senate in a way For both,
in which no other name had been, by special
permission that he should be admitted to the More than one-third of those who have voted for floor of the Senate at all times. The motion was the House were ladies; more than five-sixths of
adopted. those who have voted for a Club were men. The ladies who voted for a Club did not raise a word against the admission of men, but many of the Of course we do the thing just as well in this men, speaking for a club, urged strongly upon us country, though people forget and grumble. the necessity of excluding the ladies.
Looking back to the Times of December 26th, The reasons for giving the preference to the 1863, for instance, I read House were in each case almost the same: that “The following order has been issued by such a place would give an opportunity for quiet command of the Queen :work not enjoyed at home. Many seemed to “ The death of William Makepeace Thackeray, believe that a Club could be started successfully which occurred on the 24th, removes from among later on, using the organization and machinery the living one of the most distinguished Englishalready in employ for the management of the men. His name will for ever be associated with House. Those who have voted in favour of the the nineteenth century as that of its noblest Club haveall been actuated by the idea that anything novelist. This great man, cut off at the early age which promotes good fellowship and unity between of 52, was about to be raised to the highest authors must, if able to work at all, work for good. honours of the Peerage as Duke of Kensington
What next? The next thing is to form a Com- Gardens. His daughters are authorized to receive mittee, to draw up the constitution of the club, the rank and courtesy title of a Duke's daughter. and to leave the Committee to take all the steps As an expression of the public loss and sorrow the necessary. This will be done as quickly as possible, flags of all the Executive Departments at London, and I hope that by next month we shall be able to and of the public buildings, will be placed at announce that the Club is actually in a fair way to half-mast to-morrow until the funeral is over.' be started. One rule will be rigid. No one will be “All the Departments will be draped in mournadmitted who is not author of jome book or a ing for thirty days, and business will be suspended professional journalist.
on the day of the funeral.' In both Houses a
resolution was unanimously adopted to adjourn He indicates the kinds of verse which may be over the day of the funeral."
expected. “Poetry, if it exists at all, will deal, It is pleasant to be able to prove, though people and probably to a greater degree than ever before, have such short memories, that this country is not with those more frail and ephemeral shades of behind America in the recognition of her great emotion which prose scarcely ventures to describe men. We may remind our readers also of the
The most realistic novel, the closest Court and general mourning ordered through- psychological analysis in prose, does no more than out the country on the lamented death of Carlyle, skim the surface of the soul; verse has the priviand of the honours which were heaped upon lege of descending into its depths. In the future, Robert Browning, alive and dead. And we must lyrical poetry will probably grow less musical and not forget the extraordinary care always taken by less conventional at the risk of being less popular. the First Lord of the Treasury, whether it be Mr. It will interpret that prose does not suggest." And W. H. Smith or Mr. W. E. Gladstone, not to allo:v further on he predicts that the verse of the future any outsider to have any share in the grant will be essentially democratic. It will, perhaps, annually made for Literature, Science and Art. present short and highly finished studies in narraHere, indeed, we do claim superiority over our tive like those of Coppée. It may abandon the cousins, for they have no Civil List, while we extreme refinement of its extreme mechanism. It grant £1,200 a year to those whose work advances will seek to give pleasure less by the manner than humanity, and we never, rever, never suffer one by the matter. “But,” he concludes, “whatever penny of this to be jobbed away on any considera- the issue may be we may be confident that the art tion whatever.
will retain that poignant charm over undeveloped minds, and that exquisite fascination which for so
many successive generations have made poetry the Is verse in danger ? The question was asked by
wisest and the fairest prose of youth.” Mr. Edmund Gosse in the Forum for January. This American magazine, which always contains some articles of suggestion or instruction, is published
Poetry will not willingly be allowed to die in the in this country by Mr. Edward Arnold, of Warwick
States. This conclusion is drawn, perhaps hastily, Lane. The question is asked and answered, and
encouragement offered to poets by the it ought to cause other answers and yet others,
Charles E. Hires Co., Philadelphia. They offer a because no question is more important in its
prize of $50 cash for the best poem on their Beer, bearings in the future of literature. “Sculptors,
their Root Beer. It is not stated that English poets singers, painters must always exist; but need we
are excluded from this interesting competition. have poets any longer since the world has dis- We await the result, the immortal result, the covered how to say all it wants to say in prose? Eulogy of Root Beer, with impatience. Will anyone who has anything of importance to communicate be likely, in the future, to express it through the medium of metrical language?" The
There has been a little controversy in the writer points to the reprinting and the reviving of the
Illustrated London News concerning the proposed dead and gone poets as an illustration that poetry
Authors' Club. It consisted of two short papers, may have done its work. Pope succeeded so well which may be read by the curious in that excellent because his predecessors were already forgotten;
journal. It has now been supplemented by an but we no longer allow the dead to lie in their account of the New York Authors' Club, of which graves. We drag them out and clothe them with
I venture to reprint a portion :new print, and paper, and bindings rich and rare.
“When I first mounted the stairs, I heard the “How,” asks the writer, “in this great throng of comforting rattle of plates and cutlery, and found resuscitated souls is the modern poet to exist ?".
the hungry authors rapidly disposing of a substanWell, I do not think that the resuscitated souls
tial meal. The operation was so thorough and have much to do with the threatened decay in
convincing that when an athletic friend of mine, poetry. As a fact, we have not a single poet under
with a far-famed appetite, came bounding in an forty. This is very serious, but the same thing hour late, one glance sufficed to prove to him that might have been said before the advent of
Mother Hubbard's historic cupboard was not more Wordsworth, while Mr. Gosse himself evidently completely bare than the American authors' board. feels that it is impossible for the world to be
During the evening. I had an opportunity of carried on without new poetry.
observing some notable members of the club. I was most anxious to see the American humourist
in undress, so to speak, to find out how much of VOL. I.
him was natural and how much professional, and mend the American authors all the more strongly whether the habit of producing everlasting fun had to some English writers when I say that a very left in him any deep furrows of care. Some of the wealthy man was once blackballed at the Authors' best-known humourists in America are rarely heard Club in New York, because it was held to be no of on this side of the ocean. They write chiefly in place for millionaires." the newspapers. They take care that the news of the day shall not distress you too sorely. The American citizen might learn from his morning A correspondent sends the following suggestion. sheet that some awful disaster had happened to He may be wrong—if so, one would be glad to the nation, but he would be soothed,
if not learn what the advertiser really did intend by his consoled, by a piece of sprightly humour in the proposal to act as an intermediary where none is next column. It is this agreeable dispensation, wanted :I think, which keeps most Americans alive amid “In the January number of the Author, you the rush and the turmoil and the extravagant appear to be somewhat puzzled about the following nervous pressure of their existence. One of the advertisement :most distinguished of these newspaper humourists
"AUTHORS.—Introductions to publishers is the gentleman who calls himself Bill Nye. I
and editors, by journalist of standing; comhad often laughed to the point of suffocation over
mission only on MS. sold ; exceptional his writings, and I could not help picturing him as
chance.-H. D. F., Office.' a small man with a large comical head and a perpetual twinkle in a particularly knowing eye, “I know nothing of the source of the advertise and a conversational manner perhaps a little too ment, but to me it is, on the face of it, clearly a obtrusively merry for the repose which distinguishes dodge of the bogus publisher to get hold of the the library of the Athenæum Club. I felt ex- names and addresses of amateur authors. tremely apologetic when I found that Bill Nye was “A member of your Society who answered it, a tall man, perfectly bald, with a quiet pensive you say, received no reply. Had a score of your smile and a pleasant unaffected speech, which members answered it, they would not probably might have led the stranger to put him down have received a single reply among them. The as a genial professor who had written a good deal object-or rather the immediate object-of the for encyclopædias.
advertiser has been attained when he has secured “What struck me chiefly was that, with the the names and addresses of a large number of exception of an excellent man who favoured me in persons who have literary aspirations, and these a corner and at some length with his theory of persons at a later date—when they have forgotten international copyright, nobody talked about all about the above advertisement—will, in all hobbies. There were no literary arguments. The probability, be bombarded with prospectuses of an prophetic sketch in these columns of the people who amateur magazine, or an amateur literary society, would bore one another in an Authors' Club has no or polite invitations to send in their 'MSS.' of counterpart in my remembrances of these American novels, tales, poems, and travels' to a bogus authors. They were not pedantic, prosy, or eager publisher, who speaks of dazzling things in the to carry the talk about shop over their particular shape of fame and fortune to be won. little counters. I think there is, on the whole, an However did they get hold of my address ?' easier current of life in American clubs of all kinds wonders the literary novice when he receives than in our own. There is certainly a more genial such a document, and, perchance, vaguely begins intercourse and a greater disposition to entertain to think that he must be getting known in literary the stranger. I have in my mind now one of the circles. I fancy I have made it clear how both his best storytellers I ever met-an engineer, a painter, name and address are procured. Whatever else a writer, a traveller in many lands. If these lines the bogus publisher is, he is not a fool, and he well should catch his vision, I hope he will take them knows the value (wholly spurious, of course) that as an assurance that I still cherish those anecdotes the amateur author attaches to introductions to of Colonel Carter, of Cartersville, which he used to publishers and editors.?” tell me with infinite humour, and which I see he has moulded into admirably artistic form in Harper's Magazine. I cannot imagine any asso- A question asked by Mr. James Baker at the ciation of authors animated by a better esprit de meeting of January 15th, raises a difficult and corps than I found in this New York club, or freer interesting point. He asked how far literary froin those angles of the literary character which “notes," which frequently embody matters of some of us eem to dread. Perhaps I shall com- lasting value, are to be protected by the new Copy