James Branch Cabell

Here are a few choice items from my collection, in chronological order. Descriptions have generally been provided by the dealer, with some editing on my part. I would appreciate any corrections and additional information about any of these books.


 

The Line of Love

The Line of Love
1905 Harper & Brothers NY

 

Illustrated by Howard Pyle. First edition, in the rare flexible red cloth binding, 291pp, 10 full page color plates. This variant edition is among the rarest of Cabell's works. Copies rarely appear on the market and are very highly desired by collectors of both Cabell and Howard Pyle. From the collection of Dr. Thomas Head. Good condition, spine slightly faded, some light wear to edges, light soiling to cloth, diagonal crease on rear cover and crack on rear pastedown, separation between frontispiece and title page.

 

Chivalry

Chivalry
1909 Harper & Brothers NY

 

Illustrated by Howard Pyle. First edition, in the rare flexible red cloth binding, 224pp, 12 full page color plates. This variant edition is among the rarest of Cabell's works. Also from the collection of Dr. Thomas Head. Very good condition, spine slightly faded, some light wear to edges of covers, Rubbing on bottom of page block, diagonal crease at lower corner of front cover.

 

The Cream of the Jest

The Cream of the Jest
1917 McBride NY

 

First edition. Inscribed by Cabell on the front free endpaper: "For Vincent Starrett with more confidence in his literary taste than in his approbation. James Branch Cabell 9 November 1917." Very good in DW. Spine faded and lightly worn at ends, minor wear to the board edges, corners lightly bumped. Dust jacket lightly chipped at edges and with several short tears at the folds, "Starrett" in pencil across the front panel of jacket (I have not yet checked to see if it is Mr. Starrett's handwriting.)

 

Figures Of Earth (copy 1)Figures Of Earth (copy 2)

Figures of Earth
1921 McBride NY

 

First edition. Two examples of an edition of only 25 copies signed by Cabell and with the pages untrimmed. Slightly larger than the more common trade edition. Octavo, original brown cloth, title in gilt on spine, "Kalki" device in gilt on front cover, 356pp. Jackets are different: The first has a Carl Van Doren blurb on the front panel, a price ("$2.50 net") and mailing list order form on the front flap, more blurbs on the rear panel, and "The Books of James Branch Cabell" on the rear flap. The second jacket has a "first book ... since Jurgen" paragraph on the front panel, no order form on the front flap, "The Books of James Branch Cabell" on the rear panel, and a blank rear flap. (I will add detailed scans shortly.)

 

The High PlaceThe High Place - Inscription

The High Place
1923 McBride NY

 

One of an edition of 2000 copies. This copy is out of series and numbered '0' in red ink on the limitation page. Large octavo, decorated black cloth, illustrated. A presentation copy from Cabell. Inscribed on the half-title page surrounding the printed title with the following: "For the Warrens - The High Place, as written at Sunset Cottage, Mountain Lake, Virginia. James Branch Cabell." Very good condition in a poor but complete (and scarce) DW. Jacket chipped at edges, browned on spine and with the front joint entirely split (jacket in 2 pieces), horizontal split on spine, slipcase lacking lower panel.

 

Pictures TK

The Music From Behind the Moon
1926 John Day NY

 

First edition. The first book printed by this publisher. Quarto, black paper-covered boards, 54pp. Publisher's slip announcing availability of 25 signed and numbered sets of prints laid in. Two states shown: One of 20 or fewer copies in a variant binding with the spine and title label being narrower, and the more common binding, one of 3000 copies (see James N. Hall 1974.) Slipcase, no dust jacket.

 

The Silver StallionThe Silver Stallion - Inscription

The Silver Stallion
1926 McBride NY

 

First edition. Front free endpaper inscribed: "Inscribed for Madeleine E. Newton with the best wishes of James Branch Cabell. 7 May 1926" Near fine in very good DW. Jacket is lightly chipped at the edges, and has evidence of a wrap-around label removed from the bottom of spine and both covers, and a 1.5-inch closed tear on front flap.

 

Pictures TK

Ballades From the Hidden Way
1928 Crosby Gaige NY

 

Thin octavo, black cloth backstrip, gilt decorated blue paper-covered boards. This was published in an edition of 831 numbered copies, eight unnumbered copies on gray paper, and an unknown number of unnumbered publisher's copies. Shown here are examples of all three. All are signed at the end of the dedication poem, as issued.

One of only eight copies printed on gray paper. The limitation page leaves off the printed "No.", and is not numbered. One of the rarest Cabell titles. Near fine condition, minor shelf wear, lacks original glassine and slipcase.

This copy is out of series and not numbered. It is from the library of the publisher, Crosby Gaige, with his bookplate on the front pastedown endpaper. Includes a custom multicolored slipcase. Good condition, minor shelf wear. Near fine condition, minor shelf wear, slipcase is very good, with top and bottom panels starting to separate.

Copy #591. Near fine condition, with the rare original glassine DW in good condition, with a few chips and tears.

 

Links

Virginia Commonwealth University

 

Great Science-Fiction and Fantasy Works

 


Updated 09 December 2000