The Dial left Chicago in July 1918 for "a charming office in Greenwich Village, at 152 West Thirteenth Street, the offices of The Dial for the remainder of its publication." (Scofield Thayer and The Dial, Nicholas Joost, Southern Illinois University Press, 1964)
(photo courtesy of Nick Birns)

ALYSE GREGORY AT THE DIAL


The offices of The Dial magazine and The Dial Publishing Company occupied the whole of a large, old-fashioned, three-story house in a downtown residential section of the city, once fashionable, but now left to retiring old ladies, peering from behind dusty lace curtains onto the street below no longer populous as in their youth. The word office is hardly, however, a suitable one to describe the spacious, square, homely rooms, with their casual collection of shabby furniture - selected, apparently, as little for display as for efficiency. They had something of old New York still lingering about them, its serenity and its leisured dignity....

The top floor of the magazine was given up to a diningroom where the contributors could meet for a meal when they pleased, and where eminent authors and artists visiting New York were entertained for dinner, with Scofield's Japonese servant to take the place of cook and waiter. (The Day is Gone, Alyse Gregory, E.P.Dutton, New York, 1948)

Alyse worked for The Dial from 1923 till 1925, when she left for England with her husband, Llewelyn Powys. During her period as editor, she never wrote for the review. But after she had resigned, she contributed as a regular reviewer in signed reviews as well as in unsigned paragraphs in "Briefer Mention". In 1926 The Dial published her review of Van Wyck Brooks' The Pilgrimage of Henry James as well as other essays. She also had had some chapters of her novel She Shall Have Music incorporated in the issues of June and August 1926. In 1927 she also contributed two essays, one on the language of poetry, the other on eighteenth-century women. In all she gave 15 signed reviews to The Dial.


In the photograph, 152 W13 is the middle three-window wide house with the elegant wooden door. The building still looks very much as it must have done in the twenties, lace curtains included! But there certainly were not any air conditioning units at that time.

It was Bourne who introduced Alyse to Scofield Thayer, shortly before the latter became editor of The Dial, which he had bought in 1919 with Sibley Watson. Thayer and Watson would often visit the little tea and flower shop which Alyse, in 'her sole venture into business', had opened at this time with a friend on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Eleventh Street. It was close to the offices of The Dial, and Thayer and Watson, meeting at the shop to discuss their manuscripts, soon came to realise Alyse's gifts and the soundness of her judgment. Thayer tried several times to persuade Alyse to come and work with him. She alleges that she 'held out, none the less, still prizing humble liberty above "tottering honor".' But in 1923, when Thayer asked her to assume the post of associate editor, 'I did not say I would not consent to so flattering an offer, which was equivalent to saying I would.'(Alyse Gregory: A Woman at her Window, J. Peltier, Cecil Woolf, London, 1999)