Brush, Katharine: Young Man of Manhattan
(researched by Scott Filkins)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Brush, Katharine. Young Man of Manhattan. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1930. Copyright Katharine Brush 1929, 1930.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
First edition in cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
168 leaves, pp. [8] [1-2] 3-325 [3].
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
No editor or introduction. Front flyleaf reads: Books by Katharine Brush | GLITTER | LITTLE SINS | NIGHT CLUB | YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN Dedication reads: For | TOMMY BRUSH (Tommy Brush refers to Katharine Brush's son, Thomas S. Brush)
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
No illustrations. Text of novel is ornamented with "double-S" symbol to subdivide chapters.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
Pages measure 12.5 cm by 19 cm with text occupying 9.5 cm by 14.5 cm of each page. Margins are wide and lines are generously spaced. Pages in this copy are very readable, with print consistently dark throughout and showing little to no sign of wear or irregularity. Type is 84R serif. Although no type description is provided on verso of cover page or colophon, today's Adobe "Willow" seems to be a reasonbale match in typographic features, although "Willow" is more vertically elongated than the text in question. Chapters are numbered, but not titled. Print for chapters is in all caps, e.g. CHAPTER ONE, in print half as large as a capital letter in the main text. Chapter headings appear flush left, directly above the text of the chapter. A running header of YOUNG MAN appears on the right side of left-facing pages, complemented by OF MANHATTAN on the left side of right-facing pages (with the exception of first pages of chapters, which have no header). Pagination occurs in the upper left corner of left-facing pages and upper right corner of right-facing pages, with the exception of first pages of chapters, which are numbered at bottom center. First words or short phrases of chapters are in all caps, with a two-line drop cap as the first letter of each chapter . The general appearance of this copy of the book is quite good. Spine exhibits slight discoloration/fading. There is some wear around the corners of the spine and top front edge of cover.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The book is printed on wove paper. Paper is white and smooth. Pages are slightly discolored at edges but there are no signs of foxing. There are significant irregularities on the side and bottom edge of pages of this copy. Most pages exhibit rough, jagged edges and bottoms (presumably due to cutting, as the last two pages of this copy are uncut along the right side). Further, the bottoms of pages are irregular with some extending further than others. Endpapers are of heavier, smoother stock than that of the rest of the text, but paper is the same color. Pages are stained red along the top.
11 Description of binding(s)
Trade cloth binding, coarse checkerboard grain, blue. Gilt stamping on front cover reads: YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN | Katharine Brush. Gilt stamping on spine in horizontal text reads: YOUNG MAN | OF | MANHATTAN | KB | Katharine | Brush | FARRAR & | RINEHART.
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: [rule 9.3cm] | YOUNG MAN | OF MANHATTAN | [rule 9.3cm] | By | Katharine Brush | FARRAR & RINEHART, INCORPORATED | On Murray Hill, New York | 1930 | [rule 9.3cm] Verso: [Farrar & Rinehart logo] | COPYRIGHT 1929, 1930 | BY KATHARINE BRUSH | PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Unknown.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
This copy of the first edition contains the following typographical errors: page 150, line 9 "check" for "cheek"; page 229, line 8 "though" for "thought"; page 270, line 23 "Griffin.." for "Griffin."; page 271, line 1 "Enuice" for "Eunice". Dust jacket [see Assignment 2, Item 2 for image] features of a cover image of a man in a three-piece suit, hat, and trenchcoat towering above the Manhattan skyline. This dustjacket is protected by a Plasti-Kleer book jacket cover. There are multiple tears around corners and folds; the back of the jacket is almost separated from the rest of the jacket. Front inside flap of dust jacket [see Supplementary Materials #5] indicates the purchase price of $2.00, followed by a headshot of Katharine Brush and a biography which reads: Miss Brush has achieved popularity more rapidly than any young American novelist. "Glitter," "Little Sins," "Night Club" have been widely praised and enjoyed because of their zest and beauty, because of their fidelity to life. Ever since she was born, at Middletown, Connecticut, in 1902, she has led an energetic life. After boarding school, she went to work at seventeen for the Boston Traveler, writing interviews, theatrical reviews, a daily motion picture column. Two years later, she was married and went to live in Ohio. She began writing fiction in 1923. Her first published magazine piece was a poem, entitled "Golf Widow's Lament" for which the American Golfer paid her five dollars. Robert H. Davis, perennial discoverer of new authors, published her first fiction story in Munsey's Magazine. In the six years intervening, she has published, in addition to "Young Man of Manhattan," two novels and a collection of eleven of her short stories under the title, "Night Club." The title-story of that volume is her most famous short story. It created an instant sensation when it appeared in Harper's Magazine and has been reprinted in many anthologies and translated into many languages. Miss Brush at present lives in New York City. In private life she is Mrs. H. Charles Winans. She has one son. Back inside flap of dust jacket presents a list of other Farrar and Rinehart fiction available for purchase: The Romantics by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Net $2.00 Singermann by Myron Brinig, Net $2.50 Alexander Botts, Earthworm Tractors by William Hazlett Upson, Net $2.00 The Godfather by Nalbro Bartley, Net $2.00 Water Weed by Alice Campbell, Net $2.00 The Dartmouth Murders by Clifford Orr, Net $2.00 Tigers is Only Cats by Sophie Kerr, Net $1.00 The Half Pint Flask by DuBose Heyward, Net $1.00 The back of the dust jacket provides a teaser blurb for the novel as well as excerpted dialogue. Written in pencil on the first flyleaf of this copy are 9058 (bookseller's stock number for this copy) and 1ST (indicating book's first edition designation). 30-- has been crossed out just underneath, with 25-- written in under that, both numbers indicating purchase cost from second-hand bookseller. Pursuit of location of the novel's manuscript led to the following correspondence from Berrie Moos, archivist for the Katharine Brush Library at Loomis-Chaffee School, Windsor, CT: "Our library has only one galley proof of a Brush novel, an unfinished one at that - Lover Come Back. We have six scrapbooks that she kept full of clippings about her and her works. As far as I know, the family has no other materials relating to Katharine's work. I am sorry that we cannot be of more help."
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
On June 6, 1930, Farrar & Rinehart released a $1.00 "Reading for Entertainment" edition of Young Man of Manhattan. According to an advertisement in the 5/24/30 Publishers' Weekly, this edition is a "large 12mo, 1 1/8 inches bulk, cloth bound, color wrapper; maintaining in every way the standard of our past manufacturing."
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
1st edition, first printing of 20,000. 2nd printing of 20,000. (Assumed 3rd printing of at least 20,000).
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Grossett and Dunlap (1930), reprint. International Reader's League (1930), reprint. (features bright blue boards with a rose imprint). Avon (1949), 1st paperback edition. 188pp. 17cm. (revised and edited, with cover art by Ann Cantor.)
6 Last date in print?
An extensive search of books in print catalogues (Whitaker's Cumulative, Cumulative Book Index, English Catalogue of Books, and British National Bibliography) provides no listing for the 1949 Avon paperback edition. There is no information to suggest the book was in print any time after 1949. According to Whitaker's Cumulative, the 1930 edition went out of print in July 1930. The year figure is confirmed by the Cumulative Book Index.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
At least 102,000. According to an advertisement in the 4/26/30 Publishers' Weekly, the novel was "in its 60th thousand." According to Tebbel, Vol. 3, the cheaper "Reading for Entertainment" edition (not released until 6/6/30), sold 42,000 copies.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
All sales figures for #7 refer to 1930, the year of publication. No sales figures from other years are available. All sources suggest sales for the novel (in its 1930 incarnation) were limited to the year 1930.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
(All advertisements feature prominient Farrar & Rinehart labeling, logo, and location information.) The first promo ad for the novel appeared in Publishers' Weekly on 11/2/29 [see item 10 in this assignment, below]. It features the novel's cover art (a man in a trench coat, suit, and hat towering over Manhattan's skyline) with the following copy: "You don't know him yet, but you'll meet him soon! He's Toby McLean--YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN Coming January 3rd A Great New Novel by KATHARINE BRUSH $2.00" In the 12/28/29 Publishers' Weekly, and ad with similar art features the headline "The Trade Likes It! Read what they say in advance about YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN!" The ad includes four quotes from booksellers and librarians: "I should kinda like to hear more of the troubles of those two young fools in YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN"--R. M. Mills' Book Store, Nashville, Tennessee. "I am delighted to think it will be our privilege to join you in an effort to make YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN not only the best seller of 1930 but the most outstanding book in recent years."--S. B. Gundy, Oxford University Press, Toronto. "Katherine [sic] Brush is now one of our most popular writers and I feel sure this new book will have the sale you anticipate."--Emma Woodward, Librarian, Wilmington Public Library, Wilmington, N.C. "We have had good success with GLITTER and NIGHT CLUB and believe that YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN promises to be equally popular." King Cole's Bookshop, Galesburg, Illinois. An ad in the 1/11/30 Publishers' Weekly [see Supplementary Materials item #4 below] is printed on Farrar & Rinehart letterhead, is typed in letter format, and features Stanley M. Rinehart's signature. The advertisement/letter reads: "Wednesday, January 8, 1930. 2:00 P.M. LAST MINUTE NEWS: Today we only have eight hundred copies of YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN left from the first edition of twenty thousand. The morning mail and the telephone brought us seven hundred and sixty-seven re-orders, or more than four thousand re-orders since last Friday. Ten thousand copies of the second edition were delivered within three days and a further ten thousand next week. In view of this tremendous success it is interesting to find the following wise comment in the American News Company's review, JANUARY BOOKS: 'YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN by Katharine Brush is our best guess for the biggest sale of this month's publications. There are more important books from a literary standpoint, CORONET for instance, but YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN has everything else; it is modern in setting, its characters are human and it is a love story. The author of "Glitter" and "Little Sins" can go South now on the strength of this one. It's 'over'.' With cordial best wishes," Ad in 1/19/30 New York Times features a variation on the trademark cover art with the following critical excerpts: "The book triumphs!" "It triumphs for one quality, and that is its aching reality."--Virginia Peterson Ross in the NY Herald Tribune. "It is supreme entertainment!"--Corey Ford. "Has all the elements of a popular success!"--NY Times. "'Young Man of Manhattan' by Katharine Brush is a swell story."--Boston Transcript. "An appealingly human story."--Saturday Review of Literature. "A very live story."--William Soskin, in the NY Evening Post. "I'm now prepared to contend against all comers that that girl is in the front rank of living novelists."--Howard Vincent O'Brien, in the Chicago Daily News. "First printing of 20,000 exhausted before publication. At all bookstores, $2.00" 2/1/30 ad in Publishers' Weekly announces 40th thousand and includes the following text: headline--"YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN captures the nation!" Right column--"First on Baker & Taylor's nation-wide list, Katharine Brush's Young Man of Manhattan is also Womarth's leading seller; is first in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Brooklyn; second at Brentano's in New York; second in Cincinnati; third in the nation-wide telegraphic compliation of The Outlook." Left column: "New York's Best Sellers New York is limiting its purchase of fiction to a narrow range of recent publications--excepting for "A Farewell to Arms"--according to the latest reports received from various sources at which books are sold. These novels are--besides Hemingway's--"Young Man of Manhattan," [hand-underlined in ad] "Coronet," "Mother's Cry," and "All Our Yesterdays." [paragraph concerning non-fiction bestsellers omitted by researcher] "The list compiled by the Baker & Taylor Company, which is fairly representative of the whole trend, follows: Fiction [1] YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN, by Katharine Brush. [all hand-circled] [2] ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, by H. M. Tomlinson. [3] A FAREWELL TO ARMS, by Ernest Hemingway. [4] CORONET, by Manuel Komroff. [5] MOTHERS CRY, by Helen Grace Carlisle. [non-fiction listings omitted by researcher.] 2/9/30 New York Times ad features brief blurbs for GRANDMOTHER MARTIN IS MURDERED by John Cournos, JENNY: A ROMANCE OF THE NURSE by Norma Patterson, and DEAR ACQUAINTENCE by Rosemary Rees. The top headline reads: "Katharine Brush has triumphed!" Katharine Brush's photograph is placed between two columns of text which read: "She has triumphed because 'Young Man of Manhattan' meets the only eternal literary test--the test of entertainment.* Not in mnay seasons have critics and public so agreed on a book. That is why 'Young Man of Manhattan' is high on the bestseller lists in New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and other large cities." The *-ed comment refers to a the following text, positioned under the photograph: "T.S. Eliot, in The Bookman: 'So long as poetry and fiction and such things are written, its first purpose must always be...to give a peculiar kind of pleasure..." Positioned under the Eliot quote are reprints of critical blurbs from previous ads, as well as the announcement of "40th thousand in 5 weeks!" 2/16/30 New York Times ad: Primary focus is newer novel entitled JENNY: A Romance of a Nurse by Norma Patterson. Bottom of ad reads: "And every one is reading Young Man of Manhattan, Katharine Brush's great romance, 45th thousand, $2.00" 3/30/30 New York Times ad lists "Young Man of MANHATTAN by KATHARINE BRUSH | This brilliant novel of the younger generation is now in its 60th thousand. Corey Ford says of it: 'It is supreme entertainment!'" Listed along with it are A Gentleman Rebel: The Exploits of Anthony Wayne by John Hyde Preston, Destiny: A Novel in Pictures, by Otto Nuckel, and The Green Pastures, by Marc Connelly. Ad in 5/24/30 Publishers' Weekly announces "One Year Old on June 6th | It's been an exciting year--and because of the booksellers' help, a very pleasant one. We've been fortunate, too, as this list of bestsellers shows: JANUARY Young Man of Manhattan by Katharine Brush FEBRUARY 1. Young Man of Manhattan 2. Humanism and America, edited by Norman Foerster 3. My Aunt Angie, by Roy L. McCardell MARCH 1. The Door, by Mary Roberts Rinehart 2. Young Man of Manhattan 3. Humanism and America APRIL 1. The Door 2. Loyal Lover, by Margaret Widdemer 3. Love in the Machine Age, by Floyd Dell 4. Young Man of Manhattan MAY 1. The Door 2. Loyal Lover 3. Anthony in the Nude, by Myron Brinig 4. Young Man of Manhattan Accompanying ad in the 5/24/30 Publishers' Weekly reads: "A Birthday Announcement | READING FOR ENTERTAINMENT! has been our editorial watchword since the creation of our imprint just a year ago. We believe that the American public is finding more and more leisure for the enjoyment of reading. Still other thousands should have the pleasure of stimulating romances, adventure stories and mysteries: this fascinating literature of escape from the rigors of daily living. We believe that the public for these books has barely been touched in the past. We are creating the $1 price for new fiction of this type because we believe that countless more people will be able to afford the pleasure of reading good new books by our popular authors. We therefore present what we consider one of the strongest lists of popular and attractive fiction ever published--and at $1." [listed first on facing page:] "YOUNG MAN OF MANHATTAN by Katharine Brush. The year's most sparkling romance. The story of Toby McLean and Ann Vaughn reveals a modern love conflict that is capturing the minds of thousands. June 6. $1.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A210191060509112503.jpg
11 Other promotion
2/1/30 "In the Bookmarket" page from Publishers' Weekly. Photograph with caption: "Katharine Brush (left) author of a current best seller 'Young Man of Manhattan,' Farrar & Rinehart, looking over the movie script with Claudette Colbert who takes the lead in the cinema version of the novel." (not an advertisement) 4/26/30 Publishers' Weekly, Advertisement for film version: "We point with pride...60th thousand! Check your stock now! The movie will be in your town soon!" Features cast list, photo of Claudette Colbert and following pertinent excerpts: "The Great Fiction Hit of the Day! PARAMOUNT's Picturization of Katherine [sic] Brush's Saturday Evening Post Story! ... The Most Popular Novel of the Year Leaps to Life!" (advertisement placed by Farrar & Rinehart) 6/14/30 [see Supplementary Materials item #3 below] "Boston Booktrade News" section of Publishers' Weekly (Dale Warren) discusses a social event given by the staff of the Herald-Traveler (former employer of Brush) in honor of the success of the novel and film. Photo of Katharine Brush. (not an advertisement)
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Film version, Young Man of Manhattan, directed by Monta Bell. Writing credits: Katharine Brush, novel; Robert Presnell, Sr., and Daniel Reed, story. Starring: Claudette Colbert, Norman Foster, Ginger Rogers, Charles Ruggles, and Leslie Austin. Released April 19, 1930, by Paramount Publix.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
N/A
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
Saturday Evening Post. with illustrations by Henry Raleigh. 19 Oct. 1929, 3-5, 163-177; 26 Oct. 1929, 20-21, 42-56; 2 Nov. 1929, 32-33, 139-148; 16 Nov. 1929, 30-32, 152-166; 23 Nov. 29, 26-28, 130-146.
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
The life of American novelist Katharine Brush seems best summarized in a pair of contradictions that runs through much of her exposure in the contemporary popular press: she was a symbol of literary glamour in the late 1920s and 1930s who worked diligently and aggressively to achieve great success in the midst of a national depression. Born Katharine Ingram in Middletown, Connecticut, on August 13, 1902, to Charles Samuel and Clara Louise Ingram, she received her early education at public schools in Newbury, Massachusetts, and attended high school from 1913 to 1917 at New Jersey's Centenary Collegiate Institute. She refused to attend college after graduation and instead moved to Boston where she worked for The Boston Herald as a stenographer and later as a movie and drama critic. In 1920 Katharine Ingram married Thomas Stewart Brush, and the couple moved to East Liverpool, Ohio, where Thomas Brush's father ran the Review-Tribune. She wrote a movie column for this publication until 1923, when she moved to New York and began to pursue her freelance writing career in earnest. By this point Brush had adopted her trademark assiduity, writing on a daily basis from early morning to mid-afternoon, sending volumes of material to publishers and keeping impeccable records of what she had sent to whom. She sold her first piece, a poem entitled "Golf Widow's Lament," to a golfing magazine for five dollars in June of 1923. By the end of that year, Brush was selling poems and anecdotes under a pseudonym to low-brow humor magazines, and she continued to send her work to greeting card companies, children's magazines, and the like. Brush's break came when she convinced the editor of College Humor to print one of her short stories. She developed a long-standing relationship with the publication, eventually publishing over forty short stories there. College Humor tried unsuccessfully to commission a novel for serialization by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so the job fell to Brush, and she wrote her first novel, Glitter, in less than five months. She published her second novel, Little Sins, in serial form in the same publication. She also published in Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Colliers, and The Saturday Evening Post, among others. The exposure these novels generated led to greater attention in literary circles, and her short story "Night Club" (which went on to be frequently anthologized) was published in Harper's. She began a relationship with Farrar and Rinehart and published her two bestselling novels, Young Man of Manhattan (1930) and Red-Headed Woman (1931) through them. These works met criticism for their lack of substance beneath glossy plots, but critics noted that Brush's detached narrative style seemed to work against notions of sentimentality and they drew some parallels to Fitzgerald. In 1929 she divorced Thomas Brush (with whom she had a son, Tommy, in 1923) and married Hubert Charles Winans in the same year. Together Winans and Brush made a New York glamour couple. Their opulently decorated Park Avenue apartment attracted national attention, especially when Brush found her library too quiet to write in and had to rent a hotel room to continue her work. She went on to publish several other long works (Don't Ever Leave Me, 1934; This Is On Me [autobiography and short story collection], 1940; You Go Your Way, 1941; The Boy from Maine, 1944; Lover Come Back, unfinished), but her continued acclaim came from short stories. Her story "Him and Her" won the 1929 O. Henry prize, and "Football Girl" appeared in the 1932 O. Henry collection. Brush divorced Winans in 1941. She supplemented her work in novels with screenwriting and major-event sports reporting for King Features Syndicate. In 1946, she banded together with other authors to form the American Writers Association, a group positioned against a Communist-leaning attempt to monopolize publishing and copyright ownership. Brush died after a surgery in New York City on June 10, 1952. Her son established the Katharine Brush Library in her honor at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, where the manuscript of her unfinished novel is housed. Though Brush never achieved significant literary status during her lifetime, her 1946 New Yorker short story "The Birthday Party" appeared as the text for the prose analysis question for the College Board's 2005 Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam. Works Consulted Browning, Norma Lee. "Young Woman of Manhattan." Chicago Daily Tribune 6 June 1948: E5. Brush, Katharine. "Who's Who?and Why: Serious and Frivolous Facts About the Great and the Near Great." The Saturday Evening Post 26 Sept. 1931: 106. "Brush, Katharine (Ingram)." The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. 1961 ed. "Brush, Katharine (Ingram)." World Authors 1900 ? 1950. 1996. (obtained on-line through the H. W. Wilson Company). "Katharine Brush" (obituary). Time 23 June 1952: 90. "Writers Form Group to Combat Control by Unit Assailed as Red." The New York Times 13 Sept. 1946: 1.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Katharine Brush's 1930 novel The Young Man of Manhattan received praise from critics for its success as a stylish piece of contemporary popular fiction. Although a January 19, 1930, Farrar and Rinehart ad in the New York Times lists critical excerpts from seven different print sources (including the New York Times and the Chicago Daily News; [see text of this ad in Assignment 2, Item #9 above]), only three reviews are available in full to this researcher: Fanny Butcher's Chicago Daily Tribune review, Lillian C. Ford's Los Angeles Times review, and a short unauthored listing from the New York Times Literary Supplement. These reviews praise the novel's style and realism, qualities that are echoed in the excerpts from the 1/19/30 ad. Butcher's review, which includes a photo of Brush under a banner stating "Succeeds," acknowledges that the story of a romance among the New York reporter set is by no means new territory, but claims that it is "told with such skill and such reality, such sympathy, such gayety of spirit that it immediately assumes the position of being the only authentic story of a young man of the Manhattan press." She reiterates this point later in the review: "There is nothing false, nothing freakish about 'Young Man of Manhattan.' Two young people, terribly in love with one another, marry and try to get along together and they nearly wreck their lives and their happiness in the trial. It's the same old story from every angle?characters and plot. But it's a shiny new, gay one in Katharine Brush's hands." Overall, Butcher praises the novel's realism and authenticity, but does find fault in a leading female character who is "slightly, just slightly too popular and too succulent for the taste of this reviewer." Ford's LA Times review focuses on the clever and fashionable style of the novel and reiterates the novel's seemingly authoritative status on its topic, stating that "it would seem that no other story of the kind would need to be written." She describes the work as a "sea of drinks and a flotilla of wild parties" blended with "the pathos of...illness" and praises the "cleverly handled scenes [and] so much smart talk." She concludes by positing that "it is in the brilliant description of the fictional life of a sports writer that Miss Brush is most brilliant. Such gusto as hers is worth a fortune." The Times Literary Supplement praises the novel on similar grounds, making note of its "freshness of slang" and "glittery, snappy talk," while still revealing that "underneath the gaiety something is amiss." This review also notes that the book "would make a good film story." The novel was, in fact, turned into a film just months after publication [see information in Assignment 2, #12 above]. Two reviews of the film offer familiar-sounding comments on the novel's combination of glamorous style and realistic characters. Mae Tinee, in the Chicago Daily Tribune, writes of the novel in her review of the film: "Katharine Brush's romance?had every good looking young newspaper man wondering if perhaps she hadn't him in mind as Toby, and every lady movie columnist WISHING, ah, yes, that she could look like Ann!" She also notes that she found the book "remarkably interesting." In The New York Times review of the film, critic Mordaunt Hall relates that "One does not want to leave the picture any more than one wishes to throw down an interesting book, and after watching this film there is that feeling of knowing the characters. They are real people, not images that dart on and off the screen, laugh and cry, shout and whisper, but persons who are engaging in something of a battle with life." Other critical praise for Young Man of Manhattan, both direct and indirect, came in reviews of two other novels Brush published in the succeeding five years. In Fanny Butcher's Chicago Daily Tribune review of the 1931 work Read-Headed Woman, she again mentions the previous novel's "sophisticated, popular, ?young' words polished up by the brush of humor." Later, in criticizing the 1931 novel, she praises Young Man of Manhattan, writing: "Something has changed the author of this book in her attitude toward her characters. That has changed entirely. Always before her characters have been human, too human human beings for whom she, as author, has felt a certain tenderness in the frailty. Their youth, their inexperience, the irony of life biffing them, as life does, between rounds in the fight, the inhumanity of man to man?all were inherent in the author's attitude toward her characters. The result was that very real quality which has made Katharine Brush one of the most popular novelists of her generation. Miss Brush laughed, not at her characters, but with them, as she sighed with them, and when occasion demanded, wept with them." Bett Hooper, writing in The Washington Post makes similar observations in her critical review on 1935's Don't Ever Leave Me. Calling Young Man of Manhattan "lilting" and "gay," she says of Don't Ever Leave Me: "the characters fail to evoke either interest or sympathy?. The heart and the soul and the exquisitely agonizing privilege of being human beings is denied them." Hooper then uses Brush's trademark style against her, noting that she "has written too well and not unwisely enough. She has been too anxious to furnish her stage with appropriate period furniture: It becomes too rococo with words that it is impossible to distinguish the players or what they are saying." She ends the review by admonishing Brush to "spend the season sitting in the middle of Times Square. Then you can see what makes folks tick and maybe?breathe a little prayer?maybe you'll give us another ?Young Man of Manhattan.'" Works Cited Butcher, Fanny. rev of Red Headed Woman. Chicago Daily Tribune 3 Oct 1931: 10. -----. rev of Young Man of Manhattan. Chicago Daily Tribune 11 Jan 1930: 11. Ford, Lillian C. rev of Young Man of Manhattan. Los Angeles Times 12 Jan 1930: B 15. Hall, Mordaunt. rev of Young Man of Manhattan (film). New York Times 27 Apr 1930: 121. Hooper, Bett. "Advice to Miss Brush" (rev. of Don't Ever Leave Me). The Washington Post 28 Apr 1935: B8. Review of Young Man of Manhattan. New York Times Literary Supplment 4 Sept 1930: 701. Tinee, Mae. rev of Young Man of Manhattan (film). Chicago Daily Tribune 26 May 1930: 33.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Katharine Brush's 1930 novel The Young Man of Manhattan received praise from critics for its success as a stylish piece of contemporary popular fiction. Although a January 19, 1930, Farrar and Rinehart ad in the New York Times lists critical excerpts from seven different print sources (including the New York Times and the Chicago Daily News; [see text of this ad in Assignment 2, Item #9 above]), only three reviews are available in full to this researcher: Fanny Butcher's Chicago Daily Tribune review, Lillian C. Ford's Los Angeles Times review, and a short unauthored listing from the New York Times Literary Supplement. These reviews praise the novel's style and realism, qualities that are echoed in the excerpts from the 1/19/30 ad. Butcher's review, which includes a photo of Brush under a banner stating "Succeeds," acknowledges that the story of a romance among the New York reporter set is by no means new territory, but claims that it is "told with such skill and such reality, such sympathy, such gayety of spirit that it immediately assumes the position of being the only authentic story of a young man of the Manhattan press." She reiterates this point later in the review: "There is nothing false, nothing freakish about 'Young Man of Manhattan.' Two young people, terribly in love with one another, marry and try to get along together and they nearly wreck their lives and their happiness in the trial. It's the same old story from every angle?characters and plot. But it's a shiny new, gay one in Katharine Brush's hands." Overall, Butcher praises the novel's realism and authenticity, but does find fault in a leading female character who is "slightly, just slightly too popular and too succulent for the taste of this reviewer." Ford's LA Times review focuses on the clever and fashionable style of the novel and reiterates the novel's seemingly authoritative status on its topic, stating that "it would seem that no other story of the kind would need to be written." She describes the work as a "sea of drinks and a flotilla of wild parties" blended with "the pathos of...illness" and praises the "cleverly handled scenes [and] so much smart talk." She concludes by positing that "it is in the brilliant description of the fictional life of a sports writer that Miss Brush is most brilliant. Such gusto as hers is worth a fortune." The Times Literary Supplement praises the novel on similar grounds, making note of its "freshness of slang" and "glittery, snappy talk," while still revealing that "underneath the gaiety something is amiss." This review also notes that the book "would make a good film story." The novel was, in fact, turned into a film just months after publication [see information in Assignment 2, #12 above]. Two reviews of the film offer familiar-sounding comments on the novel's combination of glamorous style and realistic characters. Mae Tinee, in the Chicago Daily Tribune, writes of the novel in her review of the film: "Katharine Brush's romance?had every good looking young newspaper man wondering if perhaps she hadn't him in mind as Toby, and every lady movie columnist WISHING, ah, yes, that she could look like Ann!" She also notes that she found the book "remarkably interesting." In The New York Times review of the film, critic Mordaunt Hall relates that "One does not want to leave the picture any more than one wishes to throw down an interesting book, and after watching this film there is that feeling of knowing the characters. They are real people, not images that dart on and off the screen, laugh and cry, shout and whisper, but persons who are engaging in something of a battle with life." Other critical praise for Young Man of Manhattan, both direct and indirect, came in reviews of two other novels Brush published in the succeeding five years. In Fanny Butcher's Chicago Daily Tribune review of the 1931 work Read-Headed Woman, she again mentions the previous novel's "sophisticated, popular, ?young' words polished up by the brush of humor." Later, in criticizing the 1931 novel, she praises Young Man of Manhattan, writing: "Something has changed the author of this book in her attitude toward her characters. That has changed entirely. Always before her characters have been human, too human human beings for whom she, as author, has felt a certain tenderness in the frailty. Their youth, their inexperience, the irony of life biffing them, as life does, between rounds in the fight, the inhumanity of man to man?all were inherent in the author's attitude toward her characters. The result was that very real quality which has made Katharine Brush one of the most popular novelists of her generation. Miss Brush laughed, not at her characters, but with them, as she sighed with them, and when occasion demanded, wept with them." Bett Hooper, writing in The Washington Post makes similar observations in her critical review on 1935's Don't Ever Leave Me. Calling Young Man of Manhattan "lilting" and "gay," she says of Don't Ever Leave Me: "the characters fail to evoke either interest or sympathy?. The heart and the soul and the exquisitely agonizing privilege of being human beings is denied them." Hooper then uses Brush's trademark style against her, noting that she "has written too well and not unwisely enough. She has been too anxious to furnish her stage with appropriate period furniture: It becomes too rococo with words that it is impossible to distinguish the players or what they are saying." She ends the review by admonishing Brush to "spend the season sitting in the middle of Times Square. Then you can see what makes folks tick and maybe?breathe a little prayer?maybe you'll give us another ?Young Man of Manhattan.'" Works Cited Butcher, Fanny. rev of Red Headed Woman. Chicago Daily Tribune 3 Oct 1931: 10. -----. rev of Young Man of Manhattan. Chicago Daily Tribune 11 Jan 1930: 11. Ford, Lillian C. rev of Young Man of Manhattan. Los Angeles Times 12 Jan 1930: B 15. Hall, Mordaunt. rev of Young Man of Manhattan (film). New York Times 27 Apr 1930: 121. Hooper, Bett. "Advice to Miss Brush" (rev. of Don't Ever Leave Me). The Washington Post 28 Apr 1935: B8. Review of Young Man of Manhattan. New York Times Literary Supplment 4 Sept 1930: 701. Tinee, Mae. rev of Young Man of Manhattan (film). Chicago Daily Tribune 26 May 1930: 33.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
In his 1931 Scribner's Magazine essay "Echoes of the Jazz Age," F. Scott Fitzgerald, after admitting that not enough time had lapsed to make clear sense of the decade that had just passed, offered this observation on the 1920s: "The Jazz Age had had a wild youth and a heady middle age. ?. In the second phase such phenomena as sex and murder became more mature, if much more conventional. Middle age must be served and pajamas came to the beach to save fat thighs and flabby calves from competition with the one-piece bathing suit. Finally skirts came down and everything was concealed" (182). As a novel of the Roaring ?20s that was published on the verge of the Great Depression, Katharine Brush's Young Man of Manhattan, escapist fare in the form of a romance framed by a bustling portrait of New York, provides an almost nostalgic reflection on the recently-departed era, if not precisely the "grown-up," conventional version of the '20s on which Fitzgerald commented. In reviews, the novel is frequently praised for its realism, but just as important is the novel's palatably packaged "Lost Generation-lite" love story that assiduously documents the era of excess before the economic downturn. To be sure, Brush's novel does cover some of the same territory as other Lost Generation novels of its time (of particularly useful comparison might be Fitzgerald's own 1925 The Great Gatsby), but it is far from advocating the type of radical rejection of the past about which earlier authors wrote. In general terms, Brush's characters do express disillusionment over the value of traditional Victorian morality, and the novel is ambivalent about traditional gender ideals, but ultimately Young Man of Manhattan tempers any rejection of tradition so strongly that its conclusion seems to reaffirm more conservative values. Especially since her novel was published in January 1930, during the period when the era began to shift from the '20s boom to the '30s depression, the book's ultimate conservatism may have been synchronous with the public's remorse over the excess of the '20s while still providing a rollicking insider's take on the fast life of the Jazz Age. In other words, Brush published a richly appointed novel of the 1920s that suggested there was a happy ending to be found?around the time that the public may have realized that such a happy ending really was just a romantic fiction. This tension aligns with the transition Frank Luther Mott describes in Golden Multitudes: The Story of Bestsellers in the United States: "?[many novels on] best seller lists in the twenties ? represented, with various degrees of depth or shrillness, the revolt against the ancient mores" but readers in the thirties "were weary of strident rebellion, though they would tolerate bolder comment on sex and more criticism of intrenched [sic] ideas" than pre-1920s audiences (253). As a novel on the cusp of the decades, Young Man of Manhattan seems to derive its popularity from bridging that gap from strident rebellion to a more subdued criticism in popular fiction. It is interesting to note that the print advertisements for the novel show signs of its attempt to position itself in the realm of the Lost Generation without diminishing its potential for popular appeal [see full text of advertisements in Assignment 2, item #9 above and selected images in supplementary materials below]. A Publishers' Weekly ad twice mentions Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms in sales comparisons during the week of February 1 (which is interesting itself, as Hemingway's novel similarly positions a love story in a highly immersive--though much more bleak--professional world, the story ends unhappily, and the novel does not appear on the annual bestseller list). An ad in the New York Times uses a quote from modernist T. S. Eliot to praise the novel, but clearly the ad's use of the quote amounts to nothing more than namedropping. One doubts that Eliot would actually find such a romantic novel as "entertaining" as the ad seems to suggest, but it is significant that the publishers relied on a figure such as Eliot to provide that (however distant) critical stamp. And last, a later Times ad heralds the book as a "brilliant novel of the younger generation." True, the book is about youngish newlyweds, and the novel is frequently praised for the use of the most up-to-date vernacular, but protagonist Toby McLean says himself that he is not a part of the generation that is associated with the most rebellious rejection of tradition. Speaking of a sixteen-year-old flapper named Puff, "This is what they meant, Toby told himself, when they talked about the Younger Generation. This blasé child with a stage mouth and the astounding sex-consciousness, was what all the shooting was about. Immature as she was in her desire to seem mature, her sophistication was undeniable" (108-109). Thus, the book is not so much a novel of the younger generation, as the one a decade or so older, interested in the goings on of youth and able to report on them, but ultimately not part of the Younger Generation itself. Puff, then, is the "one piece" in Fitzgerald's analogy; Ann and Toby are the possessors of "flabby calves and fat thighs." Reviewers and readers did respond to Brush's ability to report on the 1920s; her own biography put her in an ideal position for doing so. Midway through the novel, Brush has one of her characters quip that "'It's a wise authoress who knows her own protagonist,'" and a comparison of Brush's biography [see Assignment 3 above] to the lives of the characters in this novel reveals that Brush would, indeed, consider herself among the wise (139). It is clear that Brush's own experiences helped shape the world of her hardworking, lavishly spending newspaper reporters who covered the sports and movie beats in the New York City of the 1920s. The realism with which Brush is able to imbue these publishing people's lives is often cited in reviews of the novel, and its quality as an "insider's look" into an occasionally glamorous lifestyle likely accounts for a good deal of the novel's bestselling appeal. Brush's own persona as a woman of glamour (albeit a reluctant one) seems to have been part of the novel's sales appeal as well. Images of Brush appear in many ads and reviews, highlighting the fact that she is of the set about which she writes. The photos of Brush in the press, in fact, get more glamorous as the novel's popularity grows [see Supplementary Materials below]. At least as influential in the novel's appeal is Brush's portrayal of the era itself. Young Man of Manhattan is an unabashed love letter to the spirit of New York in the 1920s, if not to every last detail of it. Her images of the city are glamorous and romanticized: "There were taxis, and girls' bare heads and ivory throats and flowered shoulders, dimly, fleetly glimpsed through taxi windows" (52); "A gaudy street. Electric letters glowed above its sidewalks in the evenings, and gentlemen in opera hats helped ladies with corsages to alight from limousines with grace and safety?.a nightly pageant, a Twentieth Century pageant, given to the hoot of horns" (207); and "He looked at New York. The billion stars in the piece of sky-slipped-down-to-earth that was New York" (112). Her images evoke a literary equivalent of the 1930s photographs of Manhattan by Samuel H. Gottscho, who according to documents promoting his Museum of the City of New York "The Mythic City" exhibition "rigorously edit[ed] out the city's?seamy side?[and] presented a dreamlike city of towers. His New York glowed with a glamorous sheen, as he cast his sharp eye on the city's various scales?from the vast metropolis captured in aerial views, to individual buildings and interiors" [see sample photo in Supplementary Materials item #1 and compare to the cover art for the novel]. Imbedded in Brush's portrayal of the city is the evidence of the economic boom of the 1920s, as well as the concurrent mechanization of the city and the spread of popular entertainment through new media. Brush seems almost hyperconscious of the practice of creating the novel's setting and atmosphere through frequent references to popular culture. She acknowledges the music of the era, citing song titles or lyrical excerpts from Howard DeSylva, Vincent Youmans, W. C. Handy, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Gus Kahn. Movie personalities Adolph Menjou, Charlie Chaplin, and Clara Bow get a mention, as do sports figures Harold "Red" Grange, Jack Dempsey, and Babe Ruth. Author Damon Runyan appears as a very minor character; Gertrude Stein is namedropped; and the main characters' bookshelf is populated with The Sun Also Rises, An American Tragedy, Aphrodite, and plays by Eugene O'Neill. While Brush does use these references to situate the novel culturally, only once does she actually refer to one of the characters reading; far more frequently her characters are drinking. Revelry associated with the consumption of alcohol, including the speakeasy culture, thus figures prominently in the book. Although the main character Toby McLean does try to limit his consumption due to his tendency to misbehave when he overindulges, the novel largely celebrates the culture of drink, and seeks to bring the reader into full knowledge of the speakeasy (note the use of second person to enhance this effect): "This particular liquor emporium was situated in the basement of an office building built above the subway; you reached it via the subway stairs, descending them to the turn, where there was a closed door set in the wall. Subway-riders by the thousands passed this portal every day, and thought, if they noticed it at all, that there were tools inside, or brushes and brooms to sweep the steps, or perhaps a subway official, counting nickels" (126). Readers of this novel, however, are allowed in on the secret, and can participate voyeuristically in the decadent revolt against the Prohibition era. Beyond these stylistic elements that place the novel firmly in the 1920s, though, are the two issues that Fitzgerald would likely criticize as conventionalizing Jazz Era rebellion but that the public seemed to find appealing: attitudes toward gender and marriage. Ann and Toby's reinterpretation of the institution of marriage signals the novel's concern with the topics. During their brief courtship, Ann tells Toby, "'for one thing?married people ought to go out sometimes with other people. Separately, I mean. They ought to have dates'" (35). Her open definition of marriage is certainly in line with a revised morality often associated with the 1920s, and it is important that the woman, not the man, of the couple makes the suggestion. Also significant, though, is the fact that they do not consider framing their relationship in any way other than marriage, a sign of the novel's underlying conservatism. Of course, Ann's theory does not play out so well in reality, but the pain connected with Toby's eventual infidelity does not cause her to recant; rather, she seems determined to accept that the pain of indiscretion is part of the newly modernized marriage contract. After she learns that Toby has kissed another woman, she says "rather philosophically and rather cynically that of course this sort of thing was bound to happen now and then. ?We'll kiss other people. Both of us will. We're young, and we're attractive if we are married. And this is the age we live in. Of course it'll happen. If we're never any more seriously unfaithful to one another, we'll be lucky'" (156). The center of conflict in Ann's experiment with marriage is Puff, the flapper figure who represents the "true" rebellion of the era. When Toby initially refuses to make contact with the young girl, she complains?in phrasing that sounds as if it could come from Gatsby: "'You're so damned married" (113). In a decidedly more romantic response, though, Toby relates that "'It's not that so much. I'm so damned in love, is the point'" (113). Toby, of course, refers to his love for Ann, who earlier in the novel is herself described in terms associated with the flapper figure: Her hair is "cut awfully short;" she drinks; she smokes (8). But these characteristics are nothing compared to Puff, who at sixteen had broken off two engagements because she "didn't believe in marriage, anyway?. She was fed up with a number of things. School. Night clubs, College boys" (109) and whose "ends of her ?windblown' bob were becalmed, they were stuck in thick gilt commas on her cheekbones, three to a check [sic]; and she was blushing brightly, fixedly, in circles" (150). Inasmuch as these descriptions work to define the image of the flapper, they signify the ways in which Ann is a generation beyond that youthful rebellion. Yes, she wears the haircut, but she works, too. She has talent, she is successful, and she struggles to balance the demands her profession puts on her with what she wishes to achieve in marriage. Brush wastes no opportunity to develop the tension between Toby and Ann regarding her position as a professional. On the night they meet, Toby reads an article Ann wrote and "felt a little sad when he had finished. It was a little cruel, somehow, that she could write so well. Better than he. Much better. This story, done so fast to catch an imminent edition, was better than the best of his" (15). Despite his proclamation that "'I believe in individuals, Ann. You're one?if there ever was one?and I'd respect that. Always. I'd respect your work, and your time, and your right to do as you choose'" (30), their relationship becomes tumultuous when she leaves their honeymoon on assignment, when she earns more than he does, and when an acquaintance erroneously calls him "Mr. Vaughn," unaware that Ann kept her own last name. The gendered economic tension climaxes when Ann tells Toby that their apartment is, in fact, hers because her money went to pay all the bills they accrued in the first months of their marriage. These events alone might lead one to consider Brush a proto-feminist in the way she champions Ann's professionalism, and the '20s were, after all, a decade that saw great social and economic gains for women. But this is not necessarily the case. For one, the novel is so steeped in romanticism that it seems unable to make any truly challenging social commentary. Take, for example, this early exchange between Ann and Toby: "Ann spoke at last, in a small voice, haltingly. ?You've known me exactly two hours.' ?Makes no difference,' Toby said. ?I know.' ?Things don't happen like that.' ?No. They don't. But this did.'" (28); or, in a similar vein: "They had known one another five days and fourteen hours. ?And,' Toby said, ?twenty minutes'" (33). Brush continues this notion of the romantic through to the resolution the novel's conflicts by having Ann apologize for her remark about owning the apartment. This apology, however, is not terribly significant because--through a few weeks of Puritan work ethic put to the test--Toby has written a novel that will seemingly guarantee his formerly elusive economic status as provider. Brush does acknowledge the still-complicated issue of gender at the conclusion of the novel, but in a manner too akin to a "wink to the camera" to be completely sincere. In response to Ann's encouragement that Toby could write a novel to get back on his feet, he says, "'No, you're wrong. I couldn't write a novel?ever?. But Ann Vaughn's husband could'" (325). So, perhaps what critics cited as "realism" was more about "specificity," and when observers noted brittle detachment as a quality of Brush's style, they overlooked the strong undercurrent of romance. But, these issues aside, the novel was the ninth best-seller of 1930, a feat especially impressive since it had appeared in its entirety in serial form in The Saturday Evening Post just weeks before being published for sale in book form, which according to critic Fanny Butcher traditionally "kills the sale of the book, because so many people already have read the story." But both Alice Hackett and John Tebbel note that the publishing industry did not feel an immediate hit from the depression. Hackett goes as far as to say that even though "October 20 [1929, the day of the stock market crash] brought this country to the brink of financial disaster?book sales were still booming" (139). Perhaps because Young Man of Manhattan had an entire calendar year to sell and because it was advertised heavily with its glamorous established author frequently foregrounded, its familiarity through serialization did not condemn it as had occurred to previous novels. A final note on the bestselling status of Young Man of Manhattan: Just as the novel roars on in the decadent prosperity of the '20s, oblivious to the economic disaster to come, fledgling publishing house Farrar and Rinehart "turned its back to the ensuing depression with successive bestsellers and near bestsellers in the 30s, which together constituted one of the most astonishing records any house ever turned in during a period of hard times" (Tebbel 175). In an effort to reach segments of the fiction market that were previously untapped, Farrar and Rinehart introduced a reduced price version of Young Man of Manhattan only six months after its initial release. According to Tebbel, the decision was a positive and strategic one, not a desperate reaction to the Depression, and it was a success for Brush's novel and Mary Rinehart's The Door (431). Farrar and Rinehart's price-reduction strategy incited price wars that caused controversy in the publishing industry far greater than any associated with Brush's novel itself. Works Cited Brush, Katharine. Young Man of Manhattan. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1930. Butcher, Fanny. rev of Young Man of Manhattan. Chicago Daily Tribune 11 Jan 1930: 11. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Echoes of the Jazz Age." Scribner's Magazine November 1931: 182. Hackett, Alice Payne. 70 Years of Bestsellers: 1895 - 1965. New York: Bowker, 1967. Mott, Frank Luther. Golden Multitudes: The Story of Bestsellers in the United States. New York: Bowker, 1947. "The Mythic City: Photographs of New York by Samuel H. Gottscho, 1925-1940." Museum of the City of New York. Exhibition pamphlet. Tebbel, John. A History of Book Publishing in the United States. vol 3. New York: Bowker, 1978.
Supplemental Material
Inside of dust jacket.
Telegraph-style ad from Publishers' Weekly.
Photo from June 14, 1930, Publishers' Weekly.
Feb. 9, 1930 NYT ad. Notice Eliot quote and photographic depiction of Brush.
Samuel H. Gottscho. Midtown from the Queensboro Bridge, 1932.
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