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192-? Figure OPIE READ Novelist·Journalist·Lecturer REDPATH OPIE READ OPIE READ is known everywhere for his inimitable novels and short stories, but he is also recognized as a lecturer of rare ability. Everywhere he is received with enthusiasm. The indescribable witchery of his words, the charm of his voice and manner, and withal, the genuine humanness of him, combine to weave a magic spell that holds his hearers enthralled. One minute roaring with laughter at some humorous bit, the next staring at the speaker through hot, blinding tears, with a feeling you will never smile again—only to break into fresh screams of laughter immediately after—you realize that this remarkable man has the power to sway his audience at will. He is always entertaining. Mr. Read usually lectures on Human Nature and Politics, a vehicle which gives full sway to all his platform talents, and has been most wonderfully acclaimed. However, he will relate stories from some of his popular books if especially requested to do so. Opie Read, says a writer in the Century Magazine, has written and lectured to a clientele that numbers millions. Bishops and bell-boys have alike chuckled over his whimsical 'Lim Jucklin,' who is, after all, only the ever-philosophical mind of Opie Read enfleshed in the old mountaineer. It is of interest that Opie Read has gathered together one of the finest Elizabethan libraries that exists as a private collection. In a club corner his conversation takes you back to the play of minds that made the Coffee Houses of Old England famous. He is a golf enthusiast, an insatiable and painstaking worker, a master of the lost art of letter writing. One of his letters, written in a hand like steel engraving, is a rare possession. It is a joy to walk with him down a country road, for he is on terms of intimacy with all the birds and flowers—a John Burroughs and a Theodore Roosevelt in one. Another writer says: Few men have read more deeply into general literature, history, biography and philosophy than he. His intimates are fond of comparing him with that great man of the Victorian era, Henry Thomas Buckle, author of 'The History of Civilization in England,' who, dying at the age of forty-one years, is credited with having familiarized himself with the contents of 20,000 books.… In the latter part of 1883 … he established the Arkansaw Traveler, which he mostly wrote and which as a humorous publication attracted the attention of the entire English-speaking world. He published the Arkansaw Traveler until 1891, when he removed to Chicago to commence the literary work which has made him more famous. He has since kept a continuous residence in the Illinois city. Few men in America have written more books. In spite of the prodigious output, they are all excellent stories, as distinctive and as standard in American literature as those of Dickens in the literature of England.… His novels are conspicuous in the fiction section of every public library, and are a part of the stock of every enterprising book Novelist-Journalist-Lecturer dealer. Three of his stories, 'The Jucklins,' 'The Starbucks' and 'The Harkriders,' were dramatized and had long runs on the stage. More than a dozen of them have been adapted to moving pictures. Apparently he is as vigorous as he was twenty-five years ago, and it is doubtful if there is another man of his age in the country who does so much traveling. He fills between 200 and 300 lecture engagements a year, in many cases speaking twice a day. Mr. Read is the one remaining American novelist in the full vigor of his powers who connects the old South with the present. Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer —A large audience, composed of the best citizens, assembled last evening to hear Opie Read, the novelist and story-teller. The distinguished gentleman was given a hearty welcome. The entertainment was delightful all the way through, and the audience was enthusiastic. Davenport (Ia.) Democrat —Would that we had more such entertainments in Davenport, and that such preachers of the new gospel of truth and cheerfulness and love were never without an auditory, bounded solely by the limits of the hall in which they speak! Lansing, Mich. —His stories and his shrewd far-seeing comprehension of human life in all its ramifications, inconsistencies and noble ideals are the fruit of his own life's experiences, through many years spent with his fingers on the throbbing pulse of human nature. Ten Reasons Why He Is a Lyceum Success 1. He is, with few possible exceptions, the author of more widely-read books than any other living American author. 2. He is one of the most sought for and best paid contributors to current periodicals. 3. His name is familiar to most of the lecture-going public of every town and city. 4. He is easy to advertise. 5. He was one of the best drawing attractions on many of the largest courses this past season. 6. He not only gets the crowd; he pleases them. 7. He does not tell old jokes, or rehash other men's ideas. 8. He appeals with equal fascination to all classes of people. 9. He knows whereof he speaks, for he has taken many courses in the university of experience. 10. He is one celebrity who can be depended upon to fill his dates at the appointed time. OPIE READ Opie Read Deplores Contempt for Book Learning The world must not neglect the book, said Mr. Read in a recent newspaper interview. The newspaper is very well in its place. But no matter how good it is, it cannot take the place of the book. In the book, mankind finds the record of itself during the ages in which it has risen to its present development. History is the biography of man, and to neglect it is worse than neglecting to remember what one's own life has been. If it were not for the book, each man would start where his father started, and any progress that he might make would be lost with his death. The trouble with the world today is its neglect of the study of the book. The possession of the book makes the difference between a dark age and an age of enlightenment. The thing that threatens to destroy the world at the present moment in political history, is not bolshevism, is not extravagance, is not lack of religious fervor, or any of the other evils that are cried about the streets of the nation in the press. The thing that is undermining the foundations of our civilization is the growing contempt among the rank and file of the people for what is called book learning. Book learning is the only learning in the world. It is more than the facts of which it is made; it is the life of the world, and each man should know it as well as he knows his own life. From Who's Who In America Read, Opie, author; b. Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 22, 1852; s. Guilford and Elizabeth (Wallace) R.; ed. Gallatin, Tenn.; m. Ada Benham, June 30, 1881. Began newspaper work in Franklin, Ky.; went later to Little Rock; edited Arkansas Gazette, 1878-81; on staff Cleveland Leader, 1881-3; established Arkansaw Traveler, humorous paper, 1883; conducted it until 1891; since then in lit, work in Chicago. Author: Len Gansett, 1888; A Kentucky Colonel, 1889; Emmett Bonlore, 1891; A Tennessee Judge, 1893; Wives of the Prophet, 1894; The Jucklins, 1895; My Young Master, 1896; An Arkansas Planter, 1896; Bolanyo, 1897; Old Ebenezer, 1898; Waters of Caney Fork, 1899; On the Suwanee River; A Yankee from the West, 1900; In the Alamo, 1900; Judge Elbridge, 1900; The Carpetbagger (with Frank Pixley); The Starbucks, 1902; An American in New York, 1905; Son of the Swordmaker, 1905; Old Lim Jucklin, 1905; Turkey Egg Griffin, 1905; The Mystery of Margaret, 1907. Address: Press Club, Chicago, Ill.
|Title||Opie Read: novelist journalist lecturer|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Read, Opie|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|