James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

THERE WERE TWO PIRATES; a Comedy of Division

Hall Code
First Printing 1946















Full Title:

THERE WERE | TWO | PIRATES | A COMEDY OF DIVISION | (decoration) | by | JAMES BRANCH CABELL | Decorations by | John O'Hara Cosgrove II | FARRAR, STRAUS AND COMPANY, INC. | NEW YORK | 1946 (see image above).


New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, Inc. "First Edition |PUBLISHED AUGUST 1946" (see image above).


8vo [21 cm (8¼ in.) x 13½ cm (5¼ in.)] consisting of pp. xii + 122 as follows: (i) Half-title; (ii) frontispiece (see image above); (iii) Title page (see image above); (v) list of contents; (vi) Works by James Branch Cabell; pp. vii-x Editorial Note; Illustrations pp. (xii), 14, 32, 66, 96; Fly titles pp. 1, 15, 33, 67, 97; Text pp. 3-13, 17-31, 35-65, 69-94, 99-121; p. (122) blank. Followed by one blank free endpaper.


Quarter black cloth, grey paper boards. All edges trimmed. Gilt Kalki device on front cover. Vertical gilt lettering on spine: JAMES BRANCH CABELL device THERE WERE TWO PIRATES device (in two lines) FARRAR, STRAUS | AND COMPANY (see image above).


Line drawing of two figures on stone bridge with short verse below, "Did ever pirate roll | His soul in guilty dreaming, | And wake to find that soul | With peace and virtue beaming?" (see image above).


On recto of title page: FOR MARJORIE KINNAN RAWLINGS | Who more than any other person has given fame to the | old ways of Florida; whose actual home is beyond | the City Gates; and whom I am proud to rank as a friend.

Dust jacket:

Salmon and black decorated front panel, black with salmon lettering on spine (see image above).


Salmon background with brick decorations (see image above).


Marjorie Rawlings was unhappy with the location of her dedication, on the verso of the title page. In a letter to her dated August 17, 1946, Cabell blamed the oversight on the publisher, and promised that this oversight would be rectified in the second printing. It was. See the entry for the second printing. (Letter reprinted on p. 281 of The Letters of James Branch Cabell; edited by Edward Wagenknecht; University of Okahoma Press; Norman, Oklahoma; 1975).

Promotional Material:

Some promotional material released by Farrar, Straus for the first issue of There Were Two Pirates. Below left, a review slip that was inserted into review copies of the book. Center and right, a letter from Cabell, explaining (in his own way, of course), his reasoning for returning to the use of his full name. As such, the letter serves as a coda of sorts to the sections of Townsend of Lichfield and These Restless Heads in which he explains his reasons for truncating his name, and was later developed into the 'Editorial Note' of Let Me Lie.

review slipletter p1letter p2