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Joseph C. Lincoln bibliography

The Joseph C. Lincoln Reader
edited and with an introduction by Freeman Lincoln

New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1959


Joseph Crosby Lincoln penciled his first book-length Cape Cod storyhe would have called it a "yarn"—on ruled yellow copy paper in 1900. He was thirty. When he died, it was later by forty-four years and several millions of published words. He left forty-odd novels, dozens of short stories, and unnumbered little verses—all talking about a crooked sandspit known as the Right Arm of Massachusetts, and about a life there that is now long gone. This book samples his bequest.

    Joe Lincoln's only son and only child is anxious to set down here a few words of filial appreciation. If the words come hard, it is because the appreciation is considerable. My old man was truly a person. Denied any vestige of formal education, he made a living with words, the tools of an educated man. He became one of the nation's most successful popular writers. He was the publisher's dream. Every year for more than four decades he put out a new book that sold from thirty to one hundred thousand copies. His product was so sure-fire that magazines guaranteed to pay top prices for the serial rights to his stories, sight unseen and as long as seven years before they were written. He was repeatedly cited as "the man who put Cape Cod on the map." Every summer hundreds of tourists knocked at the door of his Cape Cod summer cottage—now my most cherished possession. I plainly remember a night when he read from his own material to a jam-packed church in Harwichport, Massachusetts. After two hours, the audience gave him a standing ovation that lasted a full ten minutes.

    What sort of man was this? He was short, fat, laughing, and infinitely friendly. He loved Cape Cod, people, and good food. A frank sentimentalist, he believed that humans are essentially decent, and that virtue wins out in the end. He often sat up all night telling stories, but I never heard one that was shady. No prude, I never heard him say so much as "damn." I wasn't around if he ever was nasty in word or deed to anybody, or if he ever turned down a request for a loan. Money was a nuisance he refused to try to understand. If all this made him what is known today as a sucker, it's all right with me.

    To my mind, the value of my father's writings is that they faithfully portray how things once were in a historic corner of the United States. Things are certainly different today. Any modern twelve-year-old Space Cadet who chances to embark on this volume will be taken to an environment almost as remote from his personal experience as the one he will meet when he first de-rockets on the hind side of the moon. We submit no apology. Riding backward can be fun.

Freeman Lincoln

Introduction by Freeman Lincoln



stories from THE OLD HOME HOUSE
     Two Pairs of Shoes 499
     The Mare and the Motor 512
     The Mark on the Door 522
     The Meanness of Rosy

     The Cuckoo Clock 553
     Sary Emma's Photographs 554
     Sister Simmons 555
     The Widow Clark 556
     Her First Husband 557
     The Cod-Fisher 558
     The Light-Keeper 560
     The Surf Along the Shore 561