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ROBERT CORTES HOLLIDAY
Robert Cortes Holliday (1880-1947) participated in all aspects of the literary profession. Born in Indianapolis, he moved to New York to study at the Art Students' League and worked briefly as an illustrator for periodicals. He then sold books, worked as a librarian, and became a literary editor at the New York Tribune, Doubleday, Page & Co., and George H. Doran & Co. before taking an editorial position with The Bookman, serving as its chief editor from 1919 to 1920. After he left The Bookman in 1923, Holliday continued his criticism, worked for brief stints in advertising, and in 1926 became an instructor on writing for publication. Holliday also published fifteen books, including The Walking-Stick Papers (1918), Men and Books and Cities (1920), Literary Lanes and Other Byways (1925), as well as volumes on Booth Tarkington and poet Joyce Kilmer (for whom he served as literary executor). Writer and friend, Christopher Morley, wrote of Holliday: "[he] has the genuine gift of the personal essay, mellow, fluent, and pleasantly eccentric."
The front of dust jacket, author's inscription to Christopher Morley, table of contents, and Chapter XIII, "The New Bookshops" from Robert Cortes Holliday and Alexander Van Rensselaer's The Business of Writing: A Practical Guide for Authors (New York: George H. Doran Company, 1922)
In a chapter titled "The New Bookshops," Holliday and Van Rensselaer discuss the flourishing of "little bookshops," a phenomenon whose epicenter they locate in Greenwich Village. In the Village, they explain, the emphasis is on "first-rate" books. "Best sellers" are treated with skepticism and are sometimes slipped surreptitiously to the buyer as though s/he were purchasing "some hooch."