The Strange, Forgotten Life of Viola Roseboro’

Stephanie Gorton at The Paris Review:

Viola Roseboro’ (apostrophe intentional), the larger-than-life fiction editor at McClure’s, haunted magazine offices from the 1890s to the Jazz Age. A reader, editor, and semiprofessional wit, she discovered or mentored O. Henry, Willa Cather, and Jack London, among many others. Today she is nearly completely forgotten.

She could often be seen walking through downtown Manhattan alone, recognizable from her preoccupied step, thick dark hair, gray eyes under arching brows, and her purported resemblance to George Sand. She declined to wear corsets and loved cigarettes, and insisted on getting as much fresh air as possible. Instead of occupying a desk, she liked to pack manuscripts into a suitcase and take them to a bench in Madison Square Park, where in all seasons she could be found smoking, reading, and strategizing about how to develop a protégé.

more here.