William Orton Tewson - WNYC Literary Critic (1928-1934)

WNYC History Notes

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 10:00 AM

W. O. Tewson was an editor and literary critic heard regularly on WNYC between March, 1928 and September, 1934 discussing literature and books. He wrote for The New York Times, Hearst newspapers, and was the editor of The New York Evening Post's literary review.

The Brookly Daily Eagle's radio reviewer wrote the following about one of Tewson's earliest WNYC broadcasts:

"The peculiar lilt of the rhymes of the always delightful English versifier, A.A. Milne, was admirably illustrated last evening at WNYC by the affable gentleman from Merrie England who bears the tongue-twisting name of W. Orton Tewson. Mr. Tewson is calm, cool and collected, as a rule, but when he hit the Milne trail he took on a joyous tone that was almost playful. We felt like believing him when he declared very earnestly that 'nobody can be perfectly happy without having read some of Milne's poems.' The King's Breakfast was one of the Milne poems read by Mr. Tewson, and he delivered it in a way that we imagined must have warmed the cockles of A. A.'s heart if he chanced to be sitting up listening in-that is, if WNYC's wave length stretches over the waves that Britannia claims, in song at least, to rule.
"Mr. Tewson's topic was Literary Cocktails, and he served them from a full shaker in which he had mixed odd bits of chit-chat, anecdote and verse from many sources.  He held out much encouragement to young writers by mentioning the more or less humble occupations that had been followed by Twain, Harte, Dickens, Wells, Barrie, Poe, Thackeray, Hardy, Gilbert and many others who won fame with their pen or typewriter.  Mr. Tewson has what the young person of the day would call an 'adorable' English accent. It has just enough of the drawl to identify it and not enough to make it tiresome."
Source: "On the Radio Last Night," The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 27, 1928, pg. A9.


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