the best that was in a person, having the rare quality of the union of perfect honesty with kind consideration. This new blood in the old veins of literary life, soon wrought a marvelous change in this class of literature. Mr. Lothrop had been wise enough to see that such would be the case, and he kept constantly on the lookout for all means that might foster ambition and bring to the surface latent talent. For this purpose he offered prizes of $1,000 and $500 for the best manuscripts on certain subjects. Such a thing had scarcely been heard of before and manuscripts flowed in, showing this to have been a happy thought. It is interesting to look back and find many of those young authors to be identical with names that are now famous in art and literature, then presenting with much fear and trembling, their first efforts.
Mr. Lothrop considered no time, money, or strength ill-spent by which he could secure the wisest choice of manuscripts. As an evidence of his success, we name a few out of his large list: 'Miss Yonge's Histories;' 'Spare Minute Series,' most carefully edited from Gladstone, George MacDonald, Dean Stanley, Thomas Hughes, Charles Kingsley; 'Stories of American History;'' Lothrop's Library of Entertaining History,' edited by Arthur Gilman, containing Professor Harrison's 'Spain,' Mrs. Clement's 'Egypt,' 'Switzerland,' 'India,' etc.; 'Library of famous Americans, 1st and 2d series; George MacDonald's novels—Mr. Lothrop, while on a visit to Europe, having secured the latest novels by this author in manuscript, thus bringing them out in advance of any other publisher in this country or abroad, now issues his entire works in uniform style: 'Miss Yonge's Historical Stories;' 'Illustrated Wonders;' The Pansy Books,' of world-wide circulation;' 'Natural History Stories;' 'Poet's Homes Series;' S.G.W. Benjamin's 'American Artists;' 'The Reading Union Library,' 'Business Boy's Library,' library edition of 'The Odyssey,' done in prose by Butcher and Lang; 'Jowett's Thucydides;' 'Rosetti's Shakspeare,' on which nothing has been spared to make it the most complete for students and family use, and many others.
Mr. Lothrop is constantly broadening his field in many directions, gathering the rich thought of many men of letters, science and theology among his publications. Such writers as Professor James H. Harrison, Arthur Gilman, and Rev. E.E. Hale are allies of the house, constantly working with it to the development of pure literature; the list of the authors and contributors being so long as to include representatives of all the finest thinkers of the day. Elegant art gift books of poem, classic and romance, have been added with wise discrimination, until the list embraces sixteen hundred books, out of which last year were printed and sold 1,500,000 volumes.
The great fire of 1872 brought loss to Mr. Lothrop among the many who suffered. Much of the hard-won earnings of years of toil was swept away in that terrible night. About two weeks later, a large quantity of paper which had been destroyed during the great fire had been replaced, and the printing of the same was in process at the printing house of Rand, Avery & Co., when a fire broke out there, destroying this second lot of paper, intended for the first edition of sixteen volumes of the celebrated $1,000 prize books. A third lot of paper was purchased for these books and sent to the Riverside Press without delay. The books were at last printed, as many thousand readers can testify, an enterprise that called out from the Boston papers much commendation, adding, in one instance: 'Mr. Lothrop seems warmed up to his work.'
When the time was ripe, another form of Mr. Lothrop's plans for the creation of a great popular literature was inaugurated. We refer to the projection of his now famous 'Wide Awake,' a magazine into which he has thrown a large amount of money. Thrown it, expecting to wait for results. And they have begun to come. 'Wide Awake' now stands abreast with the finest periodicals in our country, or abroad. In speaking of 'Wide Awake' the Boston Herald says: 'No such marvel of excellence could be reached unless there were something beyond the strict calculations of money-making to push those engaged upon it to such magnificent results.' Nothing that money can do is spared for its improvement. Withal, it is the most carefully edited of all magazines; Mr. Lothrop's strict determination to that effect, having placed wise hands at the helm to co-operate with him. Our best people have found this out. The finest writers in this country and in Europe are giving of their best thought to filling its pages, the most celebrated artists are glad to work for it. Scientific men, professors, clergymen, and all heads of households give in their testimony of its merits as a family magazine, while the young folks are delighted with it. The fortune of 'Wide Awake' is sure. Next Mr. Lothrop proceeded to supply the babies with their own especial magazine. Hence came bright, winsome, sparkling 'Babyland.' The mothers caught at the idea. 'Babyland' jumped into success in an incredibly short space of time. The editors of 'Wide Awake,' Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, edit this also, which ensures it as safe, wholesome and sweet to put into baby's hands. The intervening spaces between 'Babyland' and 'Wide Awake' Mr. Lothrop soon filled with 'Our Little Men and Women,' and 'The Pansy.' Urgent solicitations from parents and teachers who need a magazine for those little folks, either at home or at school, who were beginning to read and spell, brought out the first, and Mrs. G.R. Alden (Pansy) taking charge of a weekly pictorial paper of that name, was the reason for the beginning and growth of the second. The 'Boston Book Bulletin,' a quarterly, is a medium for acquaintance with the best literature, its prices, and all news current pertaining to it.
Exterior View Of D. Lothrop & Co.'s Publishing House.
Interior View Of D. Lothrop & Co.'s Publishing House.
'The Chatauqua Young Folk's Journal' is the latest addition to the sparkling list. This periodical was a natural growth of the modern liking for clubs, circles, societies, reading unions, home studies, and reading courses. It is the official voice of the Chatauqua Young Folks Reading Union, and furnishes each year a valuable and vivacious course of readings on topics of interest to youth. It is used largely in schools. Its contributors are among our leading clergymen, lawyers, university professors, critics, historians and scientists, but all its literature is of a popular character, suited to the family circle rather than the study. Mr. Lothrop now has the remarkable success of seeing six flourishing periodicals going forth from his house.
In 1875, Mr. Lothrop, finding his Cornhill quarters inaquate [sic], leased the elegant building corner Franklin and Hawley streets, belonging to Harvard College, for a term of years. The building is 120 feet long by 40 broad, making the salesroom, which is on the first floor, one of the most elegant in the country. On the second floor are Mr. Lothrop's offices, also the editorial offices of 'Wide Awake,' etc. On the third floor are the composing rooms and mailing rooms of the