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In the 1930s and 1940s, Preston Lockwood (1891-1951) was an attorney and ran the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation. But earlier in his career he worked as a newspaper journalist and landed what the New York Times proclaimed was "Henry James's First Interview." The March 1915 interview was in fact the third and last of the only three interviews the eminent writer gave during his lifetime. It was conducted in England, where the St. Louis-born Lockwood was a Rhodes Scholar. During the war, Lockwood served first in the American Field Service, then the French Army, and finally the U. S. Army. Upon returning to the United States, Lockwood settled in New York where during the early 1920s he taught journalism at Columbia University before embarking on a career in law.
A Letter from Preston Lockwood to John Lane, November 12, 1915
In this letter from Lockwood to publisher John Lane of The Bodley Head, the young journalist expresses his desire to build on the success of his piece on Henry James and interview the English politician and writer, John Morley (1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn). The interview never came to pass. Additional letters in the John Lane Company Records reveal that Morley declined to be interviewed and by mid-December Lockwood had temporarily suspended his journalistic pursuits to rejoin the Ambulance Corps.