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MENCKEN, H.L. - H. L. Mencken Turns Down an Article for 'The American Mercury'
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MENCKEN, H.L. - H. L. Mencken Turns Down an Article for 'The American Mercury'

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MENCKEN, H(ENRY) L(OUIS). (1880-1956). American editor and writer; co-founder of The American Mercury in 1924 and author of The American Language. TLS. (“H.L. Mencken”). 1p. 8vo. New York, February 17, n.y. To Ronald A. Davidson, a California farmer and contributor to The American Mercury.


I have read this article with the greatest interest and pleasure. Unfortunately, it falls outside the field of The American Mercury and so I fear that I must let it go. I am sorry, indeed, and offer my best thanks for the chance to see it. I hope you have something else in hand or in mind that suggests The American Mercury…”


The son and grandson of successful tobacco producers, Mencken abandoned his job in his father’s cigar factory to write for newspapers. After working as a war correspondent from 1916-1918, Mencken wrote poetry, literary criticism, autobiographical works, and reference books, including his popular guide to idioms, The American Language. In addition to contributing to such prestigious periodicals as theNation, Chicago Tribune and New York American, Mencken co-founded the publications Parisienne, Saucy Stories, Black Mask, and The American Mercury. As the literary authority of his day Mencken served as advisor to Knopf Publishers, asserting his influence over such key American writers as Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy Parker, Upton Sinclair, Theodore Dreiser, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Mencken was the chief literary critic of American society and his commentary – often sarcastic and scathing – covered everything from politics to social movements.


The recipient, Ronald Davidson graduated from Berkeley in 1921, where he had studied agriculture and served as the editor for the Journal of Agriculture. He continued to pen articles for magazines including The Associated Grower, Overland Monthly and The American Mercury, which published his article, “The Case Against Large-Scale Farming,” in February 1932.


Folded with light age toning. Pencil notes on the verso. In very good condition.




Item #18238


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