R. N. Linscott to FPK, November 8, 1919


Dublin Core


R. N. Linscott to FPK, November 8, 1919


The letter expresses the publishers disappointment in FPK's writing and how they waited a year for her to write a better novel then the one she sent to them. With this letter came back the two manuscripts.


RN Linscott


From the collection of Frances Parkinson Keyes Papers, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.




Brodey Lajoie & Rachel Murray



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November Eighth 1919
Dear Mrs. Keyes:
It was with profound regret that we learned of the enclosure in your manuscript of a note intended only for the eye of our sales manager particularly as we realize the difficult of explaining the tone of this communication to one who has never seen from the inside the workings of a publishing office and the freedom – one might almost say the brutality – with which the books not only new, but even of long-standing and most successful authors are there analyzed.
We have been especially distressed by the incident because the whole impression given by this memorandum must of necessity by totally misleading to anyone who was not familiar with all the aspects of a situation illuminated only from a single angle by this unfortunate note; who was not, for instance, aware of the regret with which we were obliged by unstable publishing conditions last spring, to curtail the publicity not only for your book but for all the books on our spring list; or who could not see the interest all of us here have taken in your literary career and the reluctance (particularly, I think I may say, on my own part) with which your manuscripts were returned. Indeed, it was precisely this desire to see you permanently on your list of authors that led me in (in spite of my own disappointment in the story) to send “The Career of David Nobel” to our sales manager on the chance that his verdict might prove favorable.
And if you will put yourself in our place, I am sure you will understand the difference in tone between this private communication and our letters to you. For while I know you are right in saying that you would have preferred absolute frankness, you will, I think, realize that long experience with authors who are too prone to take offense at candid criticism has induced habits of perhaps excessive caution that are hard to break away from.
All this, of course, does not excuse the gross carelessness of our mailing clerk who permitted the note to come into your hands, and for this I can only offer you the deepest apologies both for myself and for the firm.
May I add that your courtesy in bringing the matter to our attention in this way has been profoundly appreciated.
Sincerely yous, R. N. Linscott
Mrs. Henry W. Keyes, North Haverhill, New Hampshire. RNL:C


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About the Original Item

Date Added
November 7, 2013
Frances Parkinson Keyes Collection
Item Type
RN Linscott, “R. N. Linscott to FPK, November 8, 1919,” Omeka@CTL, accessed September 22, 2020, http://ctl.w3.uvm.edu/omeka/items/show/1295.
Associated Files