The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, February 1908
THE recent acquisition by Mr. C. Arthur Pearson of The Spectator has caused, not unnaturally, a considerable flutter in journalistic dovecots. Except that Mr. Peter Keary will succeed Mr. St. Loe Strachey as editor, there will, we believe, be few changes in the general scheme of the paper: though mammoth competitions will, of course, be instituted, and a page of pithy pars for the home is destined to become a feature of the journal. A Children’s Page, conducted by Aunt Matilda, and a stirring new serial by Mr. Arthur Applin, will be the only other additions to this popular and go-ahead weekly.
Since its change of proprietors, the London Gazette has increased largely in circulation. Mr. C. Arthur Pearson, the new controller of its destinies, has appointed Messrs. James Douglas and T. P. O’Connor joint editors: and the human note is now sounded much more emphatically. Instead of the old bald announcements of facts, comments and anecdotes are now the order of the day.
There is no doubt that Punch, under Mr. C. Arthur Pearson, is likely to acquire a far livelier tone than of yore. The colour illustrations are a great improvement. And the cartoons, now in the capable hands of ‘Yorick’ and the creator of the Casey Court Boys, are thoroughly bright and lively. We see the new Punch Limerick Competition is going well.
Since Mr. C. Arthur Pearson took over the Fortnightly Review, and converted it into a medium for supplying the masses with bright, topical matter, suitably illustrated, the sales have gone up enormously. Mr. William Le Queux’s serial, ‘The Blood that Dropped on the Doormat,’ continues to enthral all and sundry; and Mr. W. L. Courtney’s series of short ‘Chats on Business’ are full of valuable hints for those starting in life. There are good articles in the current number on ‘Duchesses who have Married Dustmen’ and ‘The £ s. d. of Professional Football.’
The idea of converting the Guardian into a weekly all-fiction magazine, similar to the monthly Novel, is one which does credit to the enterprise and ingenuity of the new man-at-the-wheel, Mr. C. Arthur Pearson. Among the snappiest items in the current issue, we would select for special mention ‘Jemima’s Booful Mamma,’ by Winifred Graham; ‘Mark Monk, Murderer,’ by Richard Marsh; and Mr. E. Phillips Oppenheim’s ‘The Kidnapped Ambassador.’
The St. Ethelburga’s Parish Magazine (Steeple Bumpstead) has not been long in showing signs of the driving power of its recent purchaser, Mr. C. Arthur Pearson. The ‘Cosy Chats with the Curate,’ modelled on the Editorial Page of Pearson’s Weekly, are already the talk of all Steeple Bumpstead. ‘In Cap and Bells,’ by the Village Idiot, teems with racy humour, and the Vicar’s ‘Thoughts on the Doxology’ are real hot stuff.
Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.