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RUTGER BLEECKER JEWETT
In 1899, after a decade of teaching classics in New York and New Jersey area schools, Rutger Bleecker Jewett (1867-1935) entered the world of publishing. He worked for J. F. Taylor & Co, John Lane Company, and, beginning in 1911, D. Appleton Company (later D. Appleton-Century Company), where he served as Editor-in-Chief and Vice-President. At Appleton, Jewett was Edith Wharton's editor, and he developed a close working relationship and a strong friendship with the novelist. Jewett also published Zona Gale's novella, Miss Lulu Bett (1920) which became a bestseller for Appleton. Miss Lulu Bett's sales rivaled the success of Sinclair Lewis's Main Street, which was published that same year by Harcourt Brace.
Two letters from Sir Compton Mackenzie to Rutger Bleecker Jewett, 1912-1913
These two letters concern D. Appleton's publication of the English novelist Compton Mackenzie's two-volume novel Sinister Street. They offer insight into the early twentieth-century American publishing market. In England both of the book's volumes were published under the title Sinister Street (1913-1914), but for the U. S. market the publisher's preferred to have each volume appear under a separate title. As Mackenzie's letters reveal, the titles selected were Youth's Encounter (1913) and Sinister Street (1914).