I was just reading through a few letters that Lily Adams Beck sent to Duncan Campbell Scott in 1922, and came across an observation from Beck that “the Canadian Bookman is, as you say, rather hopeless. In fact, to be perfectly candid, I scarcely see what benefit one gets from the Canadian Authors’ Association at all. I am half inclined to withdraw next year if things don’t look up” (15 Nov 1922). This struck me as significant, but not within our mandate to record in our entries; it caused me to wonder if there are any academics out there working specifically on the Canadian Authors Association, as an organization. Authors’ attitudes towards the association were apparently mixed, and it might make a fruitful and fascinating investigation.

In another letter, Adams Beck provides Scott with her solicited opinion of The Magic House and Other Poems (1893) and The Village of Viger (1896) which he had sent to her. In the more social part of the letter, Adams Beck relates that she had “told the Rideouts … [who] say they would give anything if you would go on to California to them” (9 Oct 1922). The connections between authors is another topic worth pursuing, but such passing comments revealing those connections are often difficult to glean.

In a letter of 15 Dec 1922, Adams Beck thanks Scott for his positive review of her first book, a collection of stories entitled The Ninth Vibration:I am delighted with your review of The Ninth Vibration, which you sent me yesterday. I think it beautiful and one may feel that if one has deserved even a part of such commendation from you one has done well.” The Ninth Vibration is a collection of stories with paranormal elements, set mainly in India. The correspondence between Adams Beck and Scott is thus particularly notable, given Scott’s own inclusion of the paranormal in a number of his short stories.

 

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