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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Talking 'shop'

Sunday, November 19th., Indianapolis.

Lunch of ten people at Tarks including Meredith Nicholson and Tark's father.
Also see 'Leaving Chicago', November 18th., 

Afterwards in auto. to pay several calls including one on James W. Riley. Fine old man, recovering from paralysis. Red face, yellow teeth, right hand affected, sitting in corner in easy chair. Fire. Mid-Victorian feel. An old friend near him. Talk about a picture of a literary star of good order. here it was and in a literary town. Riley has infectious laugh. Told funny tales of his tragic adventures in lecturing tours, and how he slept on two boxes, one a little higher than the other, covered with papers. Enquired about Lucas. "Tell me about Lucas." Then talked about my books. "I didn't mean to talk about them, to talk 'shop', but I couldn't help it." Women talking in another room.

James Whitcomb Riley (1849 – 1916) was an American writer, poet, and best selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the "Hoosier Poet" and "Children's Poet" for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. His poems tended to be humorous or sentimental, and of the approximately one thousand poems that Riley authored, the majority are in dialect. Riley gradually rose in prominence during the 1880s through his poetry reading tours. He traveled a touring circuit first in the Midwest, and then nationally, holding shows and making joint appearances on stage with other famous talents. Riley became a bestselling author in the 1890s. He continued to write and hold occasional poetry readings until a stroke paralyzed his right arm in 1910. Riley's chief legacy was his influence in fostering the creation of a midwestern cultural identity and his contributions to the Golden Age of Indiana Literature

Additionally for November 19th., see 'Preparing to write' -

Yesterday I finished making a list of all social, political, and artistic events, which I thought possibly useful for my novel between 1872 and 1882. Tedious bore, for a trifling ultimate result in the book. But necessary.

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