Companions on the Trail: A Literary Chronicle

Companions on the Trail: A Literary Chronicle

Companions on the Trail: A Literary Chronicle

Companions on the Trail: A Literary Chronicle

Excerpt

In taking up and carrying forward the story of my meetings with men and women of distinctive character, I must assume that the reader is more or less familiar with "Roadside Meetings of a Literary Nomad," my first volume of comment on my fellow craftsmen, but a page of explanation may be useful even to those who have followed me thus far on the road.

"Roadside Meetings" deals with the years lying between 1884 (when I first went to Boston) and 1899, the year of my first visit to England. "Companions on the Trail" takes up the year 1900 when, as a married man of forty, I revisited New York from my home in Chicago. Up to this time I had not felt able to establish a residence such as a man of letters should have when he marries. After nearly sixteen years of writing and lecturing, I had acquired a plain old house in West Salem, Wisconsin, my native village, and a scantily furnished lodging in Chicago. Although still too poor to marry, I recalled a remark of Hawthorne (who married in middle life) in which he spoke of forty as the dead line over which no bachelor should cross, and so in November, 1899, I asked Miss Zulime Taft, a sister of Lorado Taft, to take chances with me. She did so, as I relate in another place, and the first chapter of . . .

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