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Anna Katharine Green and Her Work

The recent publication of Doctor Izard calls to mind the name of an American author who has never failed to interest her many readers. The cause for this is not far to seek. She does not write unless vitally interested in her characters and plot. Such works as The Doctor, His Wife and the Clock, and Doctor Izard, told as Anna Katharine Green tells them, is no ordinary task. A book a year is all she can write, and oftener the interval is much longer. When the day comes to sum up this author's work it seems to us that it will be found that her peculiar and exceptional talents will be classed far above any contemporaneous notice that her books have evoked. With her, action speaks louder than words. There is quite as much analysis of motive in her books as in those of many professedly analytical writers, if the reader will take the pains to understand the true significance of action and apply it to the study of character; but the casual or careless reader is not apt to give himself that trouble. If this were not so, talented men and women, high in the esteem of their professional brethren, would not be numbered among her admirers. Her books are read and re-read, and with keener zest upon the subsequent reading than upon the first, when her remarkable constructive skill does not stand in the way of appreciating the many touches indicative of a truly comprehensive and artistic mind. Mrs. Charles Rohlfs, the name by which the author is known to her personal acquaintances, has a number of orders for stories, but no stories to fill them with. Few authors wait to have a story to tell.

In a recent conversation with the author she said, naively: "It is a pleasure to find that America is becoming of some use to England. After Doctor Izard was published I became aware that an English author had made use of the same idea that gave me the impetus to write my book. Next I received word from my German publisher that he could not publish my book because a story already purchased by him was identical in its theme. I understand this, because all are undoubtedly based upon the same reported fact of a most remarkable occurrence in one of our middle Southern States. There has been no copying, I am told, by my friends, for I have not read the books. Each author has started and finished the story in their own way, and although I am curious to know how they have used the given material, I would not like to dissipate the image of Doctor Izard from my mind. To me he is one of the strongest characters I have handled, and I grew to love him as if he were really the man I pictured. Doctor Zabriskie, in The Doctor, his Wife and the Clock, is also a fascinating being. Some reviewers have spoken of him as a physician who does things that are only to be found between the covers of books. If I felt disposed to enter into a controversy, I am in a position to prove that what I have caused Dr. Zabrisbie to do falls far short of the every-day work of noted hypnotic physicians practising not many miles from New York City. So on it goes. I have found that what can be conceived by the mind is within the possibilities of natural performance. Our comparatively small knowledge stands in the way of our comprehension of the possible, and even the probable, and to the end truth will be stranger than fiction."

So little is known of the personal appearance of the author of the Leavenworth Case and fifteen other works, not the least interesting of which are two volumes of stirring poems, that we present a cut in our opening pages made from a photograph by Falk. She is the mother of three children, with whom, and her husband, she lives in Buffalo, N. Y. She is modest in the extreme, very warm and loyal in her friendships, and numbers among her friends many men and women of worth and attainment both here and abroad.