To My Sons

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TO MY SONS Other Books By the Same Author TO MY SONS THE CALLING OF DAN MATTHEWS EXIT THE ETES OF THE WORLD GOD AND THE GROCERYMAN HELEN OF THE OLD HOUSE THE MINE WITH THE IRON DOOR THE RE-CREATION OF BRIAN KENT THE SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS A SON OF HIS FATHER THAT PRINTER OF UDELLS THEIR YESTERDAYS WHEN A MANS A MAN THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH THE UNCROWNED KING LONG AGO TOLD MA CINDERELLA By Harold Bell Wright and John Lebar THE DEVILS HIGHWAY TO THE MEMORY OF MY MOTHER Wharf House Jamaica, B. W. L May 21, 1932 If may be glorious to write Thoughts that shall glad the two or three High souls y like those Jar stars that come in sight Once in a century But better far it is to speak One simple word which now and then Shall waken their free nature in the weak And friendless sons of men To write some earnest verse or line, Which, seeking not the praise of art Shall make a clearer faith and manhood shine In the untutored heart LOWELL TO MY SONS TO MY S ONS GILBERT PAUL NORMAN 187 2 I 932 I THINK IT IS QUITE TIME THAT SOME ONE TOLD YOU boys a few things about your father. I am well aware that for just any person to act upon this suggestion might not be advisable but, being your father, I feel myself qualified to make the required revelations with a reason able degree of safety. Every son, it seems to me, should know something about the life his father lived before they became ac quainted. Usually there are reasons why he should know about it from his father. Once a boy comes really to know his father, it is different. After that, the less dad talks about himself the better. I understand, too, that some fathers and sons never do become acquainted. But we are not that sort which is very fortunatefor me. So I propose to tell you some of the things that happened to your dad before you came along and undertook the heavy job of reforming him I mean, the job of making him over into a passable sort of father. TO MY SONS Please do not understand that I intend writing a regular autobiography with dates and names and every thing for you boys or for anyone else. I should say not I can imagine nothing more tiresome to do or more un necessary. So do not be alarmed, I shall not tell you all I know about your father not by a great deal. You may trust me to omit many things which you would not enjoy knowing, which would profit you nothing, and of which I am heartily ashamed. I shall tell the truth about what ever I choose to tell you, but I shall be very careful what I choose to tell. If what I am about to write should, in spots, bear a chronological resemblance to autobiography, it will be only because it happened that way and not be cause I am in the least autobiographically minded. Life, you know, does not come all in one piece like a cheese it resembles, more, linked sausages a series of events all in a string. You boys know very well that the thought of writing a book about myself would never have occurred to me. It was John M. Siddall who, several years ago, first put the idea into my head. Mr. Siddall was then editor of The American TMLaga zine. He knew a little of my life before I became a writer. He was aware that from my early boyhood I had grown up, for the most part, homeless and friendless that I had spent much of my youth in a most wretched and debasing environment j and that I had had no schooling beyond the mere beginnings of an education. He said that TO MY SONS because Ihad, from such unpromising conditions, gained the measure of success which was mine it was my duty to tell the young men who read The American how it all happened. I said I could not write about myself that the thought of exhibiting myself in print to the rude and uncharitable gaze of the public was abhorrent to me. I argued that my life, whatever it had been, was my own private business and that I proposed to keep it so. Sid, in his characteristic way, insisted that I was all wrong...

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User Review  - EvalineAuerbach - LibraryThing

Harold Bell Wright's autobiography (and philosophy of life), at least those parts from the first thirty years of his life that he thought it important to tell. Provides a fascinating story of Wright's ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Harold Bell Wright (1872-1944) was a best-selling American writer of fiction, essays, and non-fiction during the first half of the 20th century. Although mostly forgotten or ignored after the middle of the 20th century, he is said to have been the first American writer to sell a million copies of a novel and the first to make $1 million from writing fiction. Between 1902 and 1942 Wright wrote 19 books, several stage plays, and many magazine articles. More than twenty one movies were made or claimed to be made from Wright's stories, including Gary Cooper's first major movie, The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) and the John Wayne film, The Shepherd of the Hills (1941).

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