James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

THE KING WAS IN HIS COUNTING HOUSE: A Comedy of Common Sense

Hall Code
Description
*KCH-A1b
First Printing, Limited Edition, Lettered Copies 1938

IMAGES

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COMPILATION

Full Title:

Title page recto: [bounded by rules in green on all four sides, extending to the edges of the sheet] THE KING WAS IN HIS | COUNTING HOUSE | [in italic] A Comedy of Common-Sense | by | BRANCH CABELL | [device in green] | ILLUSTRATED BY CHARLES CHILD | FARRAR & RINEHART, INC. | [flush left] NEW YORK [flush right] TORONTO (see image above).

Title page verso: [publisher's device] | COPYRIGHT, 1938, BY JAMES BRANCH CABELL | PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | BY J. J. LITTLE AND IVES AND COMPANY, NEW YORK | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (see image above).

Publication:

New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc.; 1938

Collation:

Crown octavo [21.3 cm. (8⅜ in.) x 13.3 cm. (5¼ in.)]; tops gilt, otherwise untrimmed; tipped-in limitation page (verso blank), not included in the pagination; (i) half title; (ii) list of books by Mr. Cabell; (iii) title page; (iv) publication data; (v) dedication page (verso blank); vii-xi Preface (verso blank); (xiii) Contents (verso blank); xv-xvi People of the Story; (3)-(301) text; each of the five parts headed by illustrated fly-titles on pp. (1); (45), (121), (195), and (243) (verso of each blank); (302) blank

Binding:

(see image above).

Dedication:

Black morocco. Spine in gilt: [rule] THE | KING WAS | IN HIS | COUNTING | HOUSE | [rule] | BRANCH | CABELL | FARRAR & RINEHART. Front cover: centered Kalki device in gilt, enclosed in a double ruled gilt circle. Rear cover blank (see image above).

Limitation Page:

[in italic] This special edition of THE KING WAS IN HIS | COUNTING HOUSE [in italic] is limited to 125 copies; | signed by the author, of which 99 are for sale. | This is number [hand-written] B. | [signature] Branch Cabell (see image above).

Endpapers:

Pale salmon unmarked endpapers.

Dust jacket (Slipcase):

Dust jacket not seen. There was no slipcase with this copy, but we assume that it had the same clear plastic slipcase as the numbered limited edition, KCH-A1a.

Notes:

The limitation page states only that 125 copies of this edition was printed, 99 of which were for sale. The present writer (Thorne) has, for many years, owned a copy lettered "B". This, coupled with the fact that The Silver Stallion has not seen any copies of this title with numbers higher than 99, suggests the likely possibility that the 99 "for sale" copies were numbered, while the 26 presentation copies were lettered A-Z. We have, until now, hesitated to make this statement, since no previous bibliographer has mentioned this. However, another lettered copy, this one copy "G", has recently come to light, and on this basis we are adding the lettered copies as a separate variant of the issue.

Interestingly, the same cannot be said of the other two titles issued in this binding, Hamlet has an Uncle, HHU-A1a, and The First Gentleman of America, FG-A1a. Copies of both of these titles have been noted with numbers higher than 99.

Hall notes that this binding is in "crushed" morocco. This is incorrect. The binding is true goatskin morocco leather, but it is naturally textured, rather than the smooth faced crushed variety.