Books: Period Wit

JOHN KENDRICK BANGS—Francis Hyde Bangs—Knopf ($3).

Sleek, Bourbon-faced John Kendrick Bangs, who died in 1922, was a humorist, a lecturer, an editor, a critic, a librettist, a politician—and successful as all six. Lillian Russell played in his chipper Gilbertian revision of The School for Scandal. As a lecturer he earned $500 a week for discreet blends of laughter and sentiment on such subjects as Salubrities (nice celebrities) I Have Met. As an editor he diapered the old Life's first years, brightened up "The Editor's Drawer" of Harper's Monthly, ran Harper's Weekly until Colonel...

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