Robert Penn Warren, “An American Tragedy”


Robert Penn Warren, ‘An American Tragedy’ – Yale Review


Posted here:

Robert Penn Warren

“An American Tragedy”

Yale Review 52 (October 1962), pp. 1–15


— posted by Roger W. Smith

John Cowper Powys review of “An American Tragedy”


John Cowper Powys review of An American Tragedy – The Dial, April 1926


Posted here (downloadable PDF above) is a review by John Cowper Powys of Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.

The Dial, April 1926

An editorial comment: Dreiser’s friend Powys certainly enjoyed showing off his vocabulary.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   March 2022

review of Dreiser, “Free and Other Stories,” The Dial (1918)


review of ‘Free and Other Stories’ – The Dial 12-28-1918


Posted here (downloadable PDF file above) is a review of Dreiser’s Free and Other Stories

The Dial, December 28, 1918

The review makes reference to Dreiser’s novel The “Genius,” which it terms a “ponderous commentary on Weininger’s Sex and Character.” Otto Weininger (1880-1903) was an Austrian philosopher and author of the  book Geschlecht und Charakter (Sex and Character). The influence of Weininger on Dreiser in The “Genius” is analyzed in Donald Pizer’s article “Otto Weininger and the Sexual Dynamics of Theodore Dreiser’s The “Genius,” Studies in American Naturalism 3.2 (winter 2008).

An editorial comment: The “Genius,” which is closely based on events in Dreiser’s life, is an uneven book that can be criticized for its muddled views. It did not get a good critical reception, and it is still not well regarded. I found the novel highly readable despite the weak patches and feel it is underrated.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   March 2022

a letter to the editor re Dreiser


Dreiser letter to editor re M. M. Hedges – The Dial 4-19-1917

Downloadable PDF file above.


The letter, from M. H. Hedges, was published in The Dial of April 19, 1917.

The letter references an article by Dreiser, “Life, Art and America,” published in the February 1917 issue of Seven Arts.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

  March 2022

Randolph Bourne, “The Art of Theodore Dreiser”


Randolph Bourne, ‘The Art of Theodore Dreiser’ – The Dial 1917


Posted here (downloadable PDF file above):

Randolph Bourne

“The Art of Theodore Dreiser”

The Dial

June 14, 1917


— posted by Roger W. Smith

Gilbert Seldes on An American Tragedy and Dreiser


Gilbert Seldes, ‘Mainland’


Posted here (downloadable PDF above) are excerpts from Gilbert Seldes, Mainland (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936).

Gilbert Seldes (1893-1970) was an American writer and cultural critic. Seldes served as the editor and drama critic of the magazine The Dial.

Seldes’s review in The Nation of Ulysses by James Joyce helped the book become known in the United States. His tenure as editor of The Dial included the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land in the November 1922 issue.

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   March 2022

George Seldes, “The Nobel Prize and Dreiser”


George Seldes, ‘The Nobel Prize and Dreiser’ (letter) – NY Times 11-4-1984 (2)


“The Nobel Prize and Dreiser”

letter to the editor

George Seldes

The New York Times Book Review

November 4, 1984


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   March 2022

Claude Bowers, “Memories of Theodore Dreiser”


Claude Bowers, ‘My Life’


Posted here (PDF file above) is Chapter XI of My Life: The Memoirs of Claude Bowers (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962).

Claude Bowers (1878- 1958) was a newspaper columnist and editor, a Democratic Party politician, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ambassador to Spain (1933–1939) and Chile (1939–1953). Bowers, like Dreiser, was born in Indiana. He worked for newspapers in Terre Haute and Fort Wayne, Indiana; and subsequently for the New York Evening World.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   March 2022

from Homer Croy, “Country Cured”


Homer Croy, ‘Country Cured’


Posted here is Chapter XIV from Country Cured by Homer Croy (Harper and Brother, Publishers, 1943).

Reminiscences of Dreiser are on pp. 142-146

Homer Croy (1883-1965) was an American author and occasional screenwriter who wrote fiction and nonfiction books about life in the Midwestern United States. He also wrote several popular biographies, including books on Jesse James, the humorist Will Rogers and the film director D. W. Griffith. Croy was born on a farm in Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri from 1903 to 1907, but did not graduate after failing an English course in his senior year. After leaving college, Croy worked on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and later for Dreiser at Butterick Publications.


posted by Roger W. Smith

   March 2022

Weaving Legal Web in Grace Brown Mystery.



Summer Visitors to the Adirondacks Subpoenaed as Witnesses May Be Detained to Testify.


Coroner’s Investigation Next Wednesday–Prosecution Claims Strong Case.

The World (New York)

Sunday, July 22, 1906

Pg. 1W


(Special to the World.)

Utica, N. Y, July 21. — The fate of Chester E. Gillette, of Cortland, now in the Herkimer jail suspected of murdering Grace Brown, of South Otselic, depends very largely on the outcome of an inquest over the death of the girl to be conducted in Herkimer next Wednesday by Coroner Coffin, of Ilion. This inquest will be conducted in the Court-House, which is directly across the street from the jail in which Gillette is confined.

Coroner Coffin, District-Attorney Ward, the Sherriff and several deputies have put in a busy week following up clues and securing bits of evidence which they say makes their case against Gillette strong.

Summer Visitors Detained.

Coroner Coffin has summoned about thirty whiteness to the inquest. They will include several persons who were sojourning in the Adirondacks at the time, and who have been unable to return to their homes as they planned to on account of the subpoenas that were promptly served on them in the Gillette case. There is a notable feature about the witnesses in this case. They are all wiling to testify.

Most of the witnesses called are either resorters or hotel people from the vicinity of Big Moose. Some of them were miles away when Gillette and the Brown girl started on their row the day of the girl’s death, but in some way they have become in possession of knowledge which the prosecutors believe valuable to their case.

Saw the Young Girl Grieving.

A young man who saw the pair on a north-bound train the day before the alleged murder will tell the Coroner how happy the young woman appeared to be, and by way of proving that something happened in the succeeding twenty-four hours to drive the girl to tears numerous persons who saw the couple at Big Moose will describe the indifferent attitude of the young man and the worried appearance of Miss Brown at the Glenmore Hotel just before they started out on the lake.

A woman employed in the hotel kitchen will testify that the girl rushed to her in the kitchen in the afternoon, just before she started rowing with Gillette, and threw her arms around the woman’s neck, weeping bitterly and trying to unburden herself of her secret. Gillette put in an appearance at that moment, and Miss Brown made an effort at regaining her composure. What it was that the Brown girl wanted to say no one knows, for she didn’t come back to the hotel room again until she was brought in dead after being found in the lake on the succeeding day.

He Appeared Nervous.

Miss Gladys Westcott, of Truxton, and Miss Josephine Patrick, of Cortland, who met Gillette at Inlet after his twelve-mile tramp through the woods, will tell the nervous actions of the young man and what he said to them. Depositions of these young women were taken the other day by the District-Attorney.

It is not likely that all of the evidence gained by the authorities in their week of investigation will be divulged at the inquest. They say they have enough facts to present to the Coroner to warrant a decision that Grace Brown was murdered by Gillette, and still have several strong points left untouched for presentation at his trial.

Although Gillette has been in jail since a week ago to-night, it was not until to-day that he received any message whatever from friend or relative. This morning he received a telegram from “Bert,” presumably Bert Gross,* saying that a representative of his uncle in Cortland will call to-morrow morning. It is said that Gross and Gillette worked together in the Gillette factory at Cortland, and were associated as Sunday-school teachers and in social circles.

District-Attorney Ward stated to-day that some day next week he will ask Gov. Higgins to call a special term of court for the trial of Gillette. It is probable that Judge Devendorf will be assigned to the case.

Gillette’s Big Appetite.

Gillette, whose early collapse was looked for at the time of his arrest, has proved to be the calmest man in the jail. He eats all that is set before him and has not since the very first day allowed a plate to leave his cell until he has cleaned it off completely. His appetite became a matter of comment and Gillette was laughed at by the other prisoners, but he is not fazed a bit by their gibing. Last night he capped the climax by announcing that he was being starved to death and demanded more liberal rations. The jail authorities say they have housed some husky prisoners in their experience, but they never came across an appetite to compare with Gillette’s.

Shephard Hart, of Oswego, has announced his intention of putting in a claim for the $250 reward offered by District-Attorney Ward for Gillette’s capture. Mr. Ward arrested the man himself, and at once speculation became rife as to whether he could claim the money he had offered in the name of the county. Now comes the claim from Hart that Gillette’s capture was due to a clue discovered by him.

He and a friend named Harold Parker, from Goshen, were the two who came across Gillette in the woods and from whom Gillette inquired the way to Eagle Bay.

As a matter of fact, it was the information volunteered by these young men that led the Big Moose folks to abandon their search for the second body in the lake after that of Grace Brown had been discovered. Until Hart and Parker reported that they saw a man in the forests carrying a suite case no hint of murder had been thought of in connection with the overturned boat.

It was supposed to be a double drowning.


*Albert (Bert) Gross, a foreman at the Gillette Skirt Company and a friend of Gillette’s.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

  March 2022