Were he alive today, Emilie Loring’s father, George Melville Baker, would be on all of the entertainment and talk shows. Funny and eloquent, George could sing, act, and keep an audience in stitches with one-liners and jokes.
He was a Boston insider, connected with the movers and shakers of his day: Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, theater players, opera stars, suffragist Julia Ward Howe, and Charles Sumner, the abolitionist. As a performer, author, and publisher, he felt the public’s pulse, sensed the average reader’s taste, and always stayed just one step in front of it.
George Baker had some important firsts. He was responsible for the first, American editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. He published the first play about electronic dating (only it was telegraph then!); developed young readers with the first, successful children’s magazine; and created nineteenth-century serials that paved the way for standards like Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins…
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