First and Only Weekly Webzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Over 1,100 Volumes
Collected From 1875 Through 1950
The surviving editions are held in trust in the archive of grandson Danton Burroughs
Collated and Researched by Bill Hillman
Shelf: B2
Edgar James Banks (1866-1945)
Bismya: Or, the Lost City of Adab ~ A Story of Adventure, of Exploration, and of Excavation Among the Ruins of the Oldest of the Buried Cities of Babylonia (NY, Putnam, 1912);  174 illustrations
Online eText with illustrations:

A young Banks

Wedding picture: Edgar & Minja Banks, 1914

Author as an Arab: Bismya frontispiece
Edgar James Banks specialized in digging up the ancient secrets of the Middle East. Banks (1866--1945) was a dedicated explorer of the Middle East and devoted student of its past. He was very active in the first few decades of the twentieth century, and is responsible for most of the small cuneiform collections at universities, seminaries, and museums around the country. Banks led an interesting life, a summary of which can be found in the excellent article, "The Forgotten Indiana Jones," by Dr. Ewa Wasilewska in The World and I Magazine Online.

Web Refs:
Wikipedia Entry
Adab in Wikipedia
World and I Magazine
University of Minnesota
Babylonian Clay Tablets

Ralph Henry Barbour  (1870 – 1944)  
Fourth Down ~ 1920 ~D. Appleton and Co.

Number 8 in theYardley Hall series 
1. Forward Pass. 1908
2. Double Play. 1909
3. Winning His Y. 1910
4. For Yardley. 1911
5. Change Signals. 1912
6. Around the End. 1913
7. Guarding His Goal. 1919
8. Fourth Down. 1920

The Half-Back ~ 1899 ~  G&D ~ 267 pages
Online eText Edition:
Left Tackle Thayer.1915 ~ Dodd, Mead and Co. ~ Author of Left-End Edwards, Left Guard Gilbert, etc. Illustrated by Charles M. Relyea. In 25 chapters.~ 338 pages.
Double Play: 1909 D. Appleton & Co. ~ 315 pages
Change Signals 1912 ~ Appleton & Co. 331 pages ~ A Story of the New Football.  2 pages in back advertising other titles. Illustrated with four color plates. " A country boy comes to Yardley, is initiated into the mysteries of "inside" football, and figures as the hero of the big game of the year."
The New Boy at the Hilltop E-text

"In these up-to-the-minute, spirited genuine stories of boy life there is something which will appeal to every boy with the love of manliness, cleanness, and sportsmanship in his heart."
BIG FOUR: This three volume series was first published by D. Appleton & Company between 1905 and 1907.
CHANNERY: This three volume sports series was originally published by the D. Appelton-Century Company 1826 and 1927.
ERSKINE: This three volume series was first published by D. Appleton & Company between 1902 and 1904.
FERRY HILL: This four volume series was originally published by the Dodd, Mead & Company between 1926 and 1929. Later reprints were also available from Grosset & Dunlap.
FOOTBALL ELEVEN: This 11 volume football series was originally published by Dodd, Mead & Company between 1914 and 1925. Subsequent reprintings were available from Grosset & Dunlap.
FOUR AFOOT by Ralph Henry Barbour, D. Appleton and Company, New York, September 1906. 
GRAFTON: This three volume sports series was published by the D. Appleton Company 1916 and 1917.
HILLFIELDS: This six volume series was originally published between 1931 and 1934. Volumes one through four were published by D. Appleton & Company. Volumes five and six, and subsequent reprints of the earlier titles, were available from D. Appleton-Century Company.
HILTON: This early three volume series was published by the D. Appleton Company between 1899 and 1901.
PURPLE PENNANT: This three volume series was orignally published by the D. Appleton Company in 1915 and 1916. It consists of the following titles: "The Lucky Seventh," "The Secret Play" and "The Purple Pennant."
TOD HALE: This four volume series was originally published by the Dodd, Mead & Company between 1926 and 1929. Later reprints were also available from Grosset & Dunlap.
YARDLEY HALL: This eight volume series was published by the D. Appleton Company between 1908 and 1920.
WYNDHAM:  This three volume series was published by the D. Appleton Company in 1924 and 1925.

Four Afoot FrontispieceThe New Boy at the Hilltop

Ralph Henry Barbour was a popular turn-of-the-century novelist who was famous for writing boys sports stories.
Over his career, Barbour produced more than 100 novels as well as a number of short stories.
Wikipedia Entry
S.M. Barrett
Geronimo's Story of His Life ~ 1907 ~ NY: Duffield & Co.
This was one of the books ERB used to gather background information for his Apache novels.
Online eText Edition

Later reprint edition
Geronimo, a Bedonkohe Apache leader of the Chiricahua Apache, led his people's defense of their homeland against the U.S. military after the death of Cochise. In the early 1870s, Lieutenant Colonel George F. Crook, commander of the Department of Arizona, had succeeded in establishing relative peace in the territory. The management of his successors, however, was disastrous. In 1874, some 4,000 Apaches were forcibly moved by U.S. authorities to a reservation at San Carlos, a barren wasteland in east-central Arizona. Deprived of traditional tribal rights, short on rations and homesick, they revolted. Spurred by Geronimo, hundreds of Apaches left the reservation to resume their war against the whites. In 1882, Crook was recalled to Arizona to conduct a campaign against the Apaches. Geronimo surrendered in January 1884, but took flight from the San Carlos reservation in May 1885, accompanied by 35 men, 8 boys and 101 women. Crook, along with scouts Al Sieber, Tom Horn and Mickey Free (the white child Cochise was falsely accused of abducting) set out in pursuit, and 10 months later, on March 27, 1886, Geronimo surrendered at Cañon de Los Embudos in Sonora, Mexico. Near the border, however, fearing that they would be murdered once they crossed into U.S. territory, Geronimo and a small band bolted. As a result, Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles replaced Crook as commander on April 2. During this final campaign, at least 5,000 white soldiers and 500 Indian auxiliaries were employed at various times in the capture of Geronimo's small band. Five months and 1,645 miles later, Geronimo was tracked to his camp in Mexico's Sonora mountains. At a conference on Sept. 3, 1886, at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona, Miles induced Geronimo to surrender once again, promising him that, after an indefinite exile in Florida, he and his followers would be permitted to return to Arizona. The promise was never kept. Geronimo and his fellow prisoners were put to hard labor, and it was May 1887 before he saw his family. Moved to Fort Sill in the Oklahoma Territory in 1894, he at first attempted to "take the white man's road." He farmed and joined the Dutch Reformed Church, which expelled him because of his inability to resist gambling. He never saw Arizona again, but by special permission of the War Department, he was allowed to sell photographs of himself and his handiwork at expositions. Before he died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Feb. 17, 1909, he dictated to S.S. Barrett his autobiography, "Geronimo: His Own Story."
Geronimo:(Goyathlay) (c. 1829-1909) Encyclopedia of North American Indians

S.M. Barrett: During 1905 and 1906, Geronimo, the legendary Apache warrior and honorary war chief, dictated his story through a native interpreter to S.M. Barrett, then superintendent of schools in Lawton, Oklahoma. As Geronimo was by then a prisoner of war, Barrett had made appeals all the way up the chain of command to President Teddy Roosevelt for permission to record the words of the "Indian outlaw." Geronimo came to each interview knowing exactly what he wanted to cover, beginning with the telling of the Apache creation story. When, at the end of the first session, Barrett posed a question, the only answer he received was a pronouncement-"Write what I have spoken." 

J. M. Barrie 1860-1937
The Admirable Crichton ~ Hodder & Stoughton 1916
The title character is the butler to Lord Loam. Loam considers the class divisions in British society to be artificial, but Crichton considers them "the natural outcome of a civilised society".  When Loam, his family, and Crichton are stranded on a deserted island Crichton is the only one of the party with any practical knowledge, and he assumes, initially with reluctance, the position of leader. His social betters refuse to accept this state of affairs, but are driven to acquiescence by the practicalities of their situation. Crichton sets himself up in his new position with the trappings and privileges of power, just as his master had done back in Britain.
The Admirable Crichton deals with the questions of social hierarchy and personal loyalty, and with the problems of human behavior and the ordering of human society. Barrie's suggestion that the British social structure might be flawed, that the lords and ladies might in some ways be inferior to mere servants, seemed subversive to Barrie's audience, and caused minor sensation. The theatre-going public saw his portrayal of weak, foolish aristocrats as a critical attack on the British social system.

STAGE: Four postcards showing scenes from the Edwardian production of the J.M.Barrie play  The Admirable Crichton, featuring  H.B.Irving, Henry Kemble, Irene Vanbrugh, Sybil Carlisle, and with two of the cards including Gerald Du Maurier as the juvenile lead.  Pubd. by Tuck in their Play Pictorial series eleven (III). Unused and in very good condition. I have 80-or-so lots of theatrical postcards (and a few Victorian programmes) on

Online eText Editions
Dear Brutus
The Little White Bird
Margaret Ogilvy
Little Minister 1898
Peter Pan

James Matthew Barrie was born in Kirriemuir (Forfarshire), the "Thrums" of his fiction, on 9th May 1860, the seventh surviving child of a  hand-loom weaver. Educated at Glasgow Academy, Forfar Academy and Dumfries Academy, he took his MA at Edinburgh University. He worked as a journalist for the Nottingham Journal before moving to London in 1885 to freelance. Success came with a series of sketches of life in bygone Thrums contributed to the St. James's Gazette, published in 1888 as Auld licht idylls, followed by When a man's single (1888) and A Window in Thrums (1889). These works and the novels The Little minister (1891), Sentimental Tommy (1896) and its sequel Tommy and Grizel (1900) have been regarded by George Blake and others as examples of the Kailyard School. Leonee Ormond's J.M. Barrie (1987) argues that it is more rewarding to assess Barrie's regional fiction beside that of Hardy and George Eliot. Barrie's dramatised adaptation of The Little minister was enormously successful, persuading him to write increasingly for the stage. Notable among his early plays are Quality Street (1902), The Admirable Crichton (1902) and What every woman knows (1908). In 1894 he married the actress Mary Ansell. The marriage was childless and ended in divorce in 1909. However, he had befriended and was ultimately to adopt the five boys of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, a relationship brilliantly explored in Andrew Birkin's book, J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys (1979). Out of stories he spun for the Davies boys came the material for Peter Pan (1904), probably the most famous children's play ever written. It is a complex work, perceptive and unsentimental about childhood. Peter, "the boy who would not grow up", the conceited leader of the Lost Boys of Never Land, forever dodges the world of adulthood. Like Sherlock Holmes he seems destined for greater immortality than his creator.

Honours followed - a baronetcy in 1913, the Order of Merit in 1922, the Rectorship of St. Andrews University, to whom he delivered a moving address on Courage (1922), and the Chancellorship of Edinburgh University. His later plays include Dear Brutus (1917), Mary Rose (1920), and The Boy David (1936). A final work of fiction, the ghost-story Farewell Miss Julie Logan, appeared in The Times in 1931. Barrie died on 19th June, 1937. Despite the celebrity attaching to Barrie thanks to Peter Pan, there has been scant critical interest in the remainder of his prolific output,  in particular his essays and letters, although R.D.S. Jack's The Road to the Never Land (1991) persuasively describes his genius for stagecraft. Barrie's grave is in Kirriemuir Cemetery, and his birthplace at 4, Brechin Road is maintained as a museum by The National Trust for Scotland. Many of the localities in his fiction may still be identified in Kirriemuir. A statue of Peter Pan stands in the town square, a smaller version of that in London's Hyde Park, and a pavilion housing a camera obscura which he gifted to the town in 1930 on being  made its only Freeman. ~ John MacRitchie

Elizabeth Barrington (1862 - 1931) (Pseud of Elizabeth Louisa Beck a/k/a Lily Adams Beck)
The Divine Lady
Later editionFilm: Barrington's novel, The Divine Lady, filmed in 1929 and was an Oscar winner (Frank Lloyd for Best Director) This film was a joint preservation project of the UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film in cooperation with the Czechoslovak Film Archive. It was restored in conjunction with the project American Moviemakers: The Dawn of Sound. The restored version has seen numerous screenings on TCM.
The film tells the story of the romance of Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.

Irish Beauties ~ 1931 ~ London
Glorious Apollo ~ 1925 ~ Novel about life of Lord Byron ~ Dodd, Mead and Co 

English historical and mystical novelist. Barrington was born, Lily Moresby Adams -- the Daughter of British Admiral John Moresby, and granddaughter of Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Fairfax Moresby.

Elizabeth Louisa Moresby (1862 – 3 January 1931) was a British novelist that was to became the first prolific, female fantasy writer of Canada. The daughter of the Royal Navy Captain John Moresby, Elizabeth Louisa Moresby lived and traveled widely in the East, in Egypt, India, China, Tibet and Japan but settled eventually in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1919.

Moresby was already sixty years old by the time she started writing her novels, which commonly had an oriental setting, and then became a prolific author. She wrote under various pseudonyms, depending on the genre. As Louis Moresby, she wrote nonfiction, including a history of Egypt. As E. Barrington, she wrote historical romances, including a tale of Napoleon and Josephine (1927). As Lily Adams Beck, she wrote stories set in Asia and influenced by Oriental philosophy and religion. She was also known as Elizabeth Louisa Beck, Eliza Louisa Moresby Beck and Lily Moresby Adams. She was a staunch Buddhist and strict vegetarian, highly critical of the materialism of the West.

Wikipedia Entry

John Bartlett   1820-1905
Familiar Quotations - A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature ~ 1919 ~ Bartlett (10th Ed.)

This tenth edition of 1919 contains over 11,000 searchable quotations and was the first new edition of John Bartlett’s corpus to be published after his death in 1905—the new editor, however, choosing more to supplement than revise the work of the first name in quotations.
John Bartlett
"I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own."
1820 - Born on June 14th in Plymouth, Massachusetts. American bookseller and editor best known for his Familiar Quotations.
1836 - Bartlett became an employee of the Harvard University bookstore, where he became so versed in book knowledge that the advice “Ask John Bartlett” became common on the Harvard campus.
1851 - Married to Hannah Stanfield Willard.
1855 - He owned a store and he published the first edition of his Familiar Quotations, based largely on the notebook that he kept for the benefit of his customers. 
1863 - He joined the Little, Brown and Company, Boston.
1894 - Bartlett also wrote books on chess and angling and, after many years of labour, a Complete Concordance to Shakespeare's Dramatic Works and Poems, a standard reference work that surpassed any of its predecessors in the number and fullness of its citations.
1905 - Died on December 3rd in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1992 - The 16th edition appeared with quotes from 340 new people.
Bartlett was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to William and Susan (Thacher) Bartlett. A very bright boy, he was reading at age three and had read the entire Bible by nine. He finished school at age sixteen and went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he worked for the University Bookstore that served Harvard. By age twenty-nine he owned the store. Known for his memory for quotations and trivia, "Ask John Bartlett" became a byword in the community when someone was stumped.

He began keeping a commonplace book of quotations to answer queries and in 1855 privately printed the first edition of his Familiar Quotations. That edition of 258 pages contained entries from 169 authors. One-third of the book was quotations from the Bible and from the works of William Shakespeare, most of the balance being lines from the great English poets.

Bartlett sold the bookstore in 1862 to become a paymaster in the United States Navy during the Civil War. He served on the South Atlantic station, returning to Boston in 1863 to join the firm Little, Brown and Company. That same year, Little, Brown issued the fourth edition of his quotation book. He rose to be the firm's senior partner in 1878 and retired from the firm in 1889. In addition to work on quotations (he oversaw nine editions of his book), he wrote on fishing, and chess, and compiled a massive concordance of Shakespeare, published in 1894, that is still the standard work of its kind.

The concordance, which Bartlett estimated consumed 16,000 hours of his time, was compiled with his wife Hannah, the daughter of Sidney Willard, a professor of Hebrew at Harvard, and the granddaughter of Joseph Willard, president of Harvard.
Wikipedia Entry


L. Frank Baum 1856-1919
Glinda of Oz | Gutenberg 
This Book is Dedicated to My Son Robert Stanton Baum
In which are related the Exciting Experiences of Princess Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy, in their hazardous journey to the home of the Flatheads, and to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers, and how they were rescued from dire peril by the sorcery of Glinda the Good.

Glinda of Oz  is the fourteenth Land of Oz book written by children's author L. Frank Baum, published on July 10, 1920. Like most of the Oz books, the plot features a journey through some of the remoter regions of Oz; though in this case the pattern is doubled: Dorothy and Ozma travel to stop a war between the Flatheads and Skeezers; then Glinda and a cohort of Dorothy's friends set out to rescue them.

Rinki-Tink in Oz | Gutenberg
Rinkitink in Oz is the tenth book in the Land of Oz series written by L. Frank Baum. Published on June 20, 1916, with full-color and black-and-white illustrations by artist John R. Neill, it is significant that no one from Oz appears in the book until its climax; this is due to Baum having originally written most of the book as an original fantasy novel over ten years earlier, in 1905. Most of the action takes place on three islands — Pingaree, Regos, and Coregos — and within the Nome King's caverns. Since the original ruler of the nomes, Roquat — who later re-named himself Ruggedo, was deposed in 1914's Tik-Tok of Oz, Baum had to cleverly rework the tale to accommodate his selfish but well-intentioned replacement, Kaliko.

The book was dedicated to the author's newborn grandson Robert Alison Baum, the first child of the author's second son Robert Stanton Baum.

The Yellow Hen (Ozma of Oz) | Gutenberg
Record of Her Adventures with Dorothy Gale of Kansas, the Yellow Hen, the Scarecrow, the Tin
Woodman, Tiktok, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger; Besides Other Good People too Numerous to Mention Faithfully Recorded Herein

Ozma of Oz, published on July 29, 1907, was the third book of L. Frank Baum's Oz series. It was the first in which Baum was clearly intending a series of Oz books. Where at the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's silver shoes were lost in the desert, at the end of Ozma of Oz, Glinda tells her the magic belt she could wish herself home with would likewise be lost, and Dorothy carefully gives it to Princess Ozma, in order that she might go home but the magic still be preserved, and they arrange that Ozma will use it to wish Dorothy back to Oz at need.

It is also the first book where the majority of the action takes place outside of the Land of Oz. Only the final two chapters take place in Oz itself. This reflects a subtle change in theme: in the first book, Oz is the dangerous land through which Dorothy must win her way back to Kansas; in the third, Oz is the end and aim of the book. Dorothy's desire to return home is not as desperate as in the first book, and it is her uncle's need for her rather than hers for him that makes her return.

It was illustrated throughout in color by artist John R. Neill.
The book bore the following dedication: "To all the boys and girls who read my stories — and especially to the Dorothys — this book is lovingly dedicated."

See ERBzine 1123: Burroughs/Baum Theosophy Connection by Dale Broadhurst
ERBzine 0304 ERB & L. F. Baum: Fellow Travellers by David Adams:


L(yman) Frank BaumL(yman) Frank Baum (1856-1919) American journalist and writer, whose best-known book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). Baum's stories about the imaginary Land of Oz belong to the classics of fantasy  literature. The Oz series was long shunned by librarians, and neglected by scholars of children's  literature. Baum has often been compared to Lewis Carroll - they both had a girl as the  protagonist in their most famous works. Lyman Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, New York. His father was the oil magnate Benjamin Ward Baum and mother Cynthia (Stanton) Baum, a women's rights activist. Baum grew up with his seven brothers and sisters on a large estate just north of Syracuse. "The cool but sun-kissed mansion... was built in a quaint yet pretty fashion, with many wings and gables and broad verandas on every side," Baum later wrote in DOT AND TOT IN FAIRYLAND (1901). The house, although it was large, did not have running water. Until the age of twelve, Baum was privately tutored at home. In the late 1860s he spent two years at Peekskill Military Academy, where he learned to loathe the rigid discipline. In 1873 Baum became a reporter on the New York World.

Two years later he founded the New Era weekly in Pennsylvania. He was a poultry farmer with B.W. Baum and Son and edited Poultry Record and wrote columns for New York Farmer and Dairyman. Baum's father owned a string of theatres and Baum left journalism to become an actor. In New York he acted as George Brooks with May Roberts and the Sterling Comedy in plays which he had written. He owned an opera house in 1882-83, and toured with his own repertory company. In 1882 he married Maud Gage; they had four sons.Baum returned in 1883 to Syracuse to the family oil business and worked as a salesman in Baum's Ever-Ready Castorine axle grease. His own endeavor was not successful - Baum's Bazaar general store failed in South Dakota, and the family's fortunes took a downturn. From1888 to 1890 he ran the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. He moved to Chicago, and tried sales  positions. In 1897 he founded National Association of Window Trimmers and edited Show Window from 1897 to 1902. Baum made his debut as a novelist with Mother Goose in Prose (1897). It was based on stories told to his own children. Its last chapter introduced the farm-girl Dorothy. In the preface of the book Baum wrote that he wanted to create modern fairy tales, and not scare children like the Brothers Grimm did. "Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child  seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident." Over the next 19 years Baum produced 62 books, most of them for children. In 1899 appeared Father Goose: His Book, which quickly became a best-seller. Baum's next work  was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a story of little Dorothy from Kansas who is transported with dog Toto by a 'twister' to a magical realm. The book, which was illustrated and decorated by W.W. Denslow, was published at Baum's own expense. The book sold 90,000 copies in the first two years. Baum moved to California and the rest of his life he produced sequels.  Under the pen name "Edith Van Dyne" he published 24 books for girls, and as "Floyd Akers"  he wrote six books for boys. As "Schuyler Staunton" he wrote the novels THE FATE OF THE CLOWN (1905) and DAUGHTER OF DESTINY (1906).

Wikipedia Entry
Project Gutenberg e-Texts
John Edmiston Bauman
Out of the Valley of the Forgotten (2 volumes) or, From Trinil to New York ~ 1923 ~ Easton, Pa.:Chemical Publishing Co. (subjects: Man, Evolution, Comparative Anatomy)

Spanish Idioms
Beckwith, E.G.A.
The Soldier's Language Manual: Military Expressions in English, French and German; Organization, Material, Personal, Operations, Works, Aero Words, Etc. Including a Complete Course of Instruction for Learning French ~ a World War One book intended for solders in the field. It consists of two parts. Part one consists of military expressions in three languages; of particular interest are the "aero words, " air combat being a new aspect of warfare. Part two is a complete course in French, by C. A. Thimm. . 72 + 120 pages
David Belasco San Francisco July 25, 1853-1931
The Girl of the Golden West (a play)

The Girl of the Golden West A silent film directed by Cecil B. De Mille, 1915. (The first and best of the four filmed versions of Belasco's play)

Well-known works include: "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1893), "Heart of Maryland" (1895), "Zaza" (1899), and "Madame Butterfly" (1900).
Online eText: Belasco's play Madame Butterfly:

David Belasco 1853-1931, manager/dramatist 
NY, 1923, "A Souvenir of 'The Merchant of Venice' as produced by David Belasco". Privately Printed by David Belasco, New York, 1923. There is a frontispiece photograph of David Belasco by Arnold Genthe. This Souvenir Booklet is profusely illustrated with photos of the cast in various scenes. At the end, the author adds numerous critical revues and testimonials of newspapers and critics. He was portrayed in the 1940 film, The Lady with Red Hair.

David Belasco (right) was probably as comprehensive a theatre practitioner as could be – actor, stage manager, pioneer of stage lighting, director, playwright, manager – Belasco did them all. He also discovered Mary Pickford. From 1900-1930, Belasco produced over 80 shows on Broadway.

When Mary Pickford Came to Me
By David Belasco
EDITOR’S NOTE: PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE is indebted to the most famous individual theatrical manager in the world for this simple, intimate account of Miss Pickford’s stellar beginnings in New York. The story appears exactly as Mr. Belasco dictated it. It is one of the few narratives of contemporary theatrical affairs which he has thought worthy of his personal narration.
FOR a long time I had been receiving a number of letters from a little girl who signed herself Mary Pickford. She said she wanted to get into a bigger dramatic company and play in New York. In one of her letter she told me she had vowed never to appear in New York except under my management. With each of her letters she enclosed a photograph, and they proved particularly interesting, as in nearly every picture there was such variety of facial expression. When I was casting “The Warrens of Virginia,” by William C. De Mille, I found the child’s part, that of Betty Warren, to be an unusually good one. It needed a little girl with a strong sense of the dramatic and emotional, as well as a little comedienne. My first meeting with Mary Pickford was on the eve of going into rehearsal. The cast was all made up, even to the party of Betty — but I was not altogether satisfied with the girl I had for that role. At the time, Miss Frances Starr was playing “The Rose of the Rancho,” in the old Belasco Theatre, now re-named The Republic. It was a Thursday matinee, and the stage door man came and told me that a child wished to see me. I told him to tell her I couldn’t see anyone. She insisted, so much so, that the man returned with the message that she had come a long distance to see me and had to leave town at noon the next day to resume her tour in some small play. She simply must see me before leaving New York! Because of her persistency, and, remembering upon hearing her name, the many letters and photographs she had sent to me, I consented to receive her. Miss Pickford came into my little room off the stage, as sweet and pretty a picture as I had ever seen. She wore short dresses, with her hair down her back, and altogether she looked very charming. “Mr. Belasco, I recognize you by your pictures,” were her first words. “I’m Mary Pickford. Our company is playing near New York just now, and I’ve come to see you. I want to go under your management.” As she had said this, she looked straight at me, her big, beautiful eyes looking straight into mine. Not for a moment did her glance waver.
I saw at once that she was just my ideal for the part of Betty Warren. The more I listened to her the more I realized she was the child I wanted for this role. I asked little Mary her ambitions and she said she wanted to be an emotional actress. She showed me a number of letters making her offers to appear in plays, but she had refused them all. She told me that it had been her dream always to one day play for me. “I’ve come a long way to see you, Mr. Belasco; please don’t disappoint me. And you will give me a part — you must.” Then her voice choked a bit, but she bravely continued: “You might as well say you want me now, because I won’t leave New York until you do. Our company is going on a long tour beginning tomorrow, but I am not going with it. I have made up my mind that now is the time for me to realize my dream.” 
I smiled, and she said: “Am I engaged?”
I answered, “You are.”
“Oh, is this Frances Starr?” ejaculated my little visitor, jumping up from where she had been sitting. “I have heard so much about you. Aren’t you happy to be playing with Mr. Belasco?”
“Yes,” said Miss Starr, smiling upon the eager child.
“I’m happy, too,” said Miss Pickford, with a shake of the head and with much enthusiasm. “I am going to play for Mr. Belasco — isn’t it wonderful!” And Miss Pickford, on whose shoulders there rested even then an unusually strong business head, turned and said to me:
“I’m getting a splendid salary, and you may not want to pay me as much, for I realize that the part you have for me is a small one. But don’t tell me how much; I’ll take whatever you will give me.”
With this, Miss Starr remarked: “I said the same thing to Mr. Belasco when he engaged me, and my first envelope contained much more than I would have asked him.”
And as Miss Starr went to her dressing room to change for the next act, little Mary Pickford threw her arms around me and with tears in her eyes thanked me for engaging her. She went away a living embodiment of enthusiasm and joy. Rehearsing Mary Pickford was a great pleasure. She was a hard worker, the first at rehearsals and the last to go. She would go over and over her little scenes many times. She would read and re-read her lines to find out which was the best way to speak them. When she asked me about them I said to her: “Which do you feel the best?” Then she would tell me, and I would say, “That is the best way.” She always took suggestions quickly, and acted upon them at once. She was very creative and a highly imaginative little body. She would say:
“Oh, Mr. David, I thought of something for my part. Will you look at it and let me know what you think about it?” Invariably, she was right, and I always let her do as she suggested. As I noted the little things she did with the part I understood why she made such a success. Her postures were graceful, and it was remarkable how she would visualize a story. Often I would tell he one, and even as I told it she would illustrate it with her ever-changing expressions and delicately subtle movements of body.
Always quiet, she was loved by everyone. Of a retiring nature, she was never in the way of anyone about the theatre, and she helped all who came in contact with her. In addition to being a little student she was unusually inspirational. Therein lies her great success.
On the first night of “The Warrens of Virginia,” little Mary was the most composed of the entire company. This same composure has been one of her greatest assets on the screen. Her features do not become strained. She is all repose — easy and graceful at all times.
Miss Pickford remained with me in “The Warrens of Virginia” for nearly three seasons. She made herself famous in that one part, which was a great personal success for her and contributed very much to the play. This was at the time of the beginning of motion pictures, and Mary Pickford’s remarkable face and personality were noticed by the pioneers in that field. So it was only natural that at the end of the tour of our play she should have gone into picture work. From the first she gave promise of the ability that has since made her the greatest motion picture artiste in the world.
Before she left me, Miss Pickford said: “Mr. Belasco, remember, no matter where I am or what I am doing, when you want me just let me know, and I’ll come.” I did not she her again for a number of years, but I watched her grow in popularity. Then came the time when I wanted to produce a child’s play: “A Good Little Devil,” the delightful fairy drama by Rosemonde Gerard and her son, Maurice Rostand. By this time Mary Pickford was famous, and had become known throughout the land as “The Queen of the Movies,” and was the highest salaried artiste posing for the motion picture camera. No sooner had I read the manuscript for “A Good Little Devil” than I thought of her for the part of the little blind girl, Juliette. I sent for her. She came to me that very day, and I said:
“Mary, I have a beautiful part, one that is just suited to you. You will make a great success in it, and it will help in your artistic development.”
“You say the part is very beautiful,” she said. “You know, I promised I would come whenever you wanted me. If you want me now I’ll keep my word.”
“I not only want you — I need you,” was my reply.
Tears came and she asked: “Do you really need me?”
“I certainly do.”
“Then I’ll come back to you.”
And this wonderful little girl, who holds such a unique position in the annals of our theatre, came back to us all, and played the little blind girl in “A Good Little Devil.”
During the first rehearsal, she came to me and said, “Oh, Mr. David, I’m dressing in the same room that Miss Starr used when I first came to you for an engagement. Isn’t it wonderful? In ‘The Warrens’ I dressed way upstairs. Now I am in this other room!” She made a great artistic success in the part, and her motion picture following swarmed around the doors of the theatres to see her after every performance, particularly at matinees. This kept up for months during the long New York run, and was even more enthusiastic when the company was on tour. In all the places that the play went the motion picture people had camera men waiting and took special pictures of “Little Mary” going to and from the theatre, and leaving the theatre after a performance. Her pictures were shown before and after the arrival of the play, and also while it was running.
Miss Pickford’s success in the difficult role of the little blind girl was phenomenal. Nothing like her remarkable performance of a child’s part ever had been seen in New York or elsewhere, and for a player to jump into such instantaneous popularity was almost unheard of.
During the summer, after the long run of “A Good Little Devil,” Miss Pickford was taken seriously ill, and it became necessary for her to undergo a dangerous operation. For many nights she lingered between life and death.
It was after one of my long rehearsal of “The Concert” when Mary’s mother came to me in the Belasco Theatre, and said:
“Oh, Mr. Belasco, Mary’s just out of the hospital this morning and insisted upon coming straight over here to see you. We have been out in front all day long, but she wouldn’t allow me to interrupt you.”
I rushed into the dark auditorium to see Mary and found her propped up in a chair, looking just a shadow of her pretty self.
“Why, Mary dear, have you been here all this time? Why didn’t you speak up and let me know?”
“I didn’t want to interrupt you during rehearsal,” she said, in a rather feeble voice, her wonderfully large eyes looking straight at me out of the darkness of the place.
It was near the time for the beginning of the second-year of “A Good Little Devil,” about two months before the opening. I realized at once that it would be impossible for her to travel, and I told her that I would not allow her to risk her life, tour or no tour of the play.
She said, “Mother was going to take me out to Los Angeles to regain my health, but I may be able to come back in time.”
I said, “I do not think you should risk it.”
“Let’s not decide today,” said Mary.
In a few days the Famous Players Film Company made her an offer to take some motion pictures of her while she was out on the Pacific Coast. I told Mary that this would be fine; not only would the picture work keep her occupied, but being out-of-doors it would not be hard on her or too taxing on her strength, and that she would not be losing time and would be receiving splendid remuneration for her services.
Several days after that, little Mary called to see me, and said:
“I want to tell you, Mr. David, that everything has come out just as you said it would. Playing the little blind girl has helped me more than I can tell you. All of the motion picture managers want me, and I am to state my own terms.”
“I do not think you will be strong enough to go on a long tour,” I told her. “And as I’m sure you are going to be the most famous motion picture player in the world, I do not think that ‘A Good Little Devil’ should stand in your way. I release you. Some time in the future if you should tire of the pictures, and want to come back to the legitimate stage, I will always have a place for you.” And so we parted.
When Mary Pickford came to me her salary was $35.00 per week. In her present line of work she has a guaranteed salary of more than $100,000 a year, with all of her expenses paid, and automobiles and everything that she may want at her command and at no expense to her.
I remember once Mary asked David W. Griffith, who was her first motion picture director, if she could do a picture with me. And one of the things that I value very highly is a reel, the only one which I possess, and which I have in my studio and treasure greatly. We did the picture, along with Mr. Griffith and the late William J. Dean, who was my general stage director at the time.
Whenever Mary Pickford made a new picture I was always invited to come and look at it before it was released to the public. I still receive these invitations and frequently we see each other and exchange greetings. No one takes more pride and pleasure in her success than I. No one knows better than I that it is due, not to mere circumstances, but to the artistry and charm by means of which Mary Pickford has become known in every city, town and hamlet in the land and beloved by all our people.
This article originally appeared in Photoplay Magazine, December 1915, Volume IX, Number 1, pages 27-34.



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