The Pioneers Behind Doubleday & Page Publishing: Unveiling "The World's Work" and Occult Connections

Doubleday & Page is a name synonymous with the world of publishing, a company with a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. Its founders, Frank Nelson Doubleday and Samuel Sidney McClure, played pivotal roles in shaping the literary landscape of their time. In this blog post, we will delve into their journey, discuss the publication of "The World's Work," explore the commercial history of the publishing company, and touch upon the intriguing links to the occult that have often been associated with its founders.

The Visionaries: Frank Nelson Doubleday and Samuel Sidney McClure

Frank Nelson Doubleday, born in 1862, was a remarkable individual with a passion for literature. He had always dreamed of building a publishing empire, and in 1897, he took the first step towards his goal by co-founding Doubleday & McClure Company with Samuel Sidney McClure. Samuel McClure was a prominent journalist, and together, they launched a publishing venture that would later become Doubleday & Page.

"The World's Work" and its Impact

One of the early milestones of Doubleday & Page was their publication of "The World's Work" in 1901. This monthly magazine was dedicated to the global affairs of its time and featured articles on politics, economics, science, and culture. Under the editorial guidance of Walter Hines Page, the magazine quickly gained a reputation for its insightful analysis and thought-provoking content.

"The World's Work" played a crucial role in shaping public opinion and fostering intellectual discourse during the early 20th century. It provided readers with a unique platform to explore world events, making it an influential publication of its era. The success of this magazine laid the foundation for Doubleday & Page's future endeavors.

Commercial History of Doubleday & Page

Over the years, Doubleday & Page evolved and expanded. In 1900, they dropped McClure's name from the company and became Doubleday, Page & Company. As they continued to publish works by prominent authors, they cemented their reputation as a major player in the publishing world. Notable works published by Doubleday & Page include Joseph Conrad's "Lord Jim," H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds," and Henry James' "The Ambassadors."

In 1927, they merged with George H. Doran Company, forming Doubleday, Doran & Company. The new company thrived, releasing classics such as Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" and F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." Eventually, in 1946, they became Doubleday & Company, and by the mid-20th century, they were one of the largest publishers in the United States.

The Occult Links of Frank Nelson Doubleday

Frank Nelson Doubleday's fascination with the occult and esoteric subjects is a topic that has intrigued many. While there is no concrete evidence to suggest that he was deeply involved in occult practices, he had an interest in mystical and paranormal topics. Doubleday was known to be a member of various esoteric organizations, such as the Theosophical Society, which explored spiritual and mystical subjects.

Additionally, Doubleday was a close friend of Charles Fort, a writer and researcher known for his investigations into unusual and unexplained phenomena. Some speculate that this connection to Fort may have influenced Doubleday's interest in the supernatural.

In conclusion, Doubleday & Page Publishing has a storied history that has left a lasting impact on the world of literature and publishing. "The World's Work" served as a notable achievement in their journey, shaping public discourse during its time. It is a worthwhile practice to look back on these periodicals to draw insights about our evolution as a country, and to understand the voice and views of those with the reach to publish them.

As for the links to the occult, Frank Nelson Doubleday's interest in esoteric subjects adds an intriguing layer to the story of the publishing house's founder. While this article cannot fully explore the extent and nature of his involvement in occult practices, his fascination with the mystical and the unexplained is a part of the legacy that continues to spark curiosity and speculation. Doubleday & Page remains an important chapter in the history of American publishing, and the founders' influence on the literary world endures to this day.

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