QUEEN OF PUBLISHERS' ROW: Mrs. Frank Leslie by Madeleine B. Stern


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On the record, Mrs. Leslie's life seems to be that of a shrewd and energetic woman who had the right husbands at the right time in the right businesses in the 19th century. She started writing with her first one, a small publisher who went to work for Frank Leslie, who became her next after her divorce and who set her up in his thriving magazine operation as an editor. Her third quickly shed husband was Oscar Wilde's little brother Willie, but he came much later after Frank Leslie's death. He was young while she was old, but still goodlooking. He tore through her capital and treated her mean in public when she went stumping for women's rights, her favorite cause. She's been treated very sentimentally here. She's been given that air of vague bewilderment about where and why her husbands went, which much-married movie stars are prone to assume in their memoirs. On the other hand, the book does a good job of showing the magazine industry in its infancy and the difficulties the executive woman faced. Mrs. Leslie was quite glamorous in her own time and, although her image has been scrubbed up here, this is the only available juvenile biography of an undeniably interesting woman.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1965
Publisher: Messner