Swinnerton: An Autobiography

By Frank Swinnerton | Go to book overview

VII
ADVENTURES IN PUBLISHING

Young Authors and their Trials; Geoffrey Whitworth; Some Books; the Making of a Publishing Firm's List; Percy Spalding.

FOR ONE MORE CHAPTER I must continue to speak of publishing matters; because for a number of years these matters filled nearly all my days and formed the most important interest of my life. It was pleasant to know, I admit, that a few people thought well of what I had written, and whenever I had time to contemplate the unbelievable I laughed at it with great delight; but to be behind the scenes, to be informed several times over when a single copy of your book is sold, to know in fact how shockingly unimportant you are in the eyes of the book trade and the general public, is a fine corrective to self-esteem, and if I had exaggerated my own literary importance I should have been an idiot.

Not all writers have such an advantage at the beginnings of their literary careers, and as most young writers suffer painfully from vanity it is too often thought that they are insufferably conceited. They are not. They are merely in a state of terror lest discouragement should kill what little talent and self-assurance they have left after solitary effort of the most strenuous kind. And fear magnifies for them the clumsy insensitiveness of all indifferent persons whatsoever, with the result that they are more tender and more impatient

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Swinnerton: An Autobiography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • By Frank Swinnerton *
  • Title Page *
  • Three Quotations by Way of Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - I Am Born 1
  • II - Early Days 23
  • III - From Fleet Street to the West End 40
  • IV - Six Years of Growth 53
  • V - Miracles 86
  • VI - My First Acquaintance with Authors 108
  • VII - Adventures in Publishing 122
  • VII - Arnold Bennett 135
  • IX - H. G. Wells 156
  • X - "Crucical" Years 173
  • XI - Some of My Elders 191
  • XII - Melange 227
  • XIV - Some of My Contemporaries 265
  • XV - The United States 315
  • XVI - What I Think About Life 339
  • Index 351
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