James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

THE CREAM OF THE JEST: A Comedy of Evasions

Hall Code
CoJ-A5 (K)
Fifth Printing 1922















Full Title:

Title page recto: [in italic] THE | CREAM | OF | THE JEST | [rule] |A Comedy of Evasions | [rule] | BY | JAMES BRANCH CABELL | WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY | HAROLD WARD | [in italic] " Le pays où je voulais aller, tu m'y as mené | en songe, celte nuit, et tu étais belle . . . | ah! que tu étais belle! . . . Mais, comme | je n'ai aimé que ton ombre, tu me dispen- | seras, chère tête, de remercier ta réalité." | NEW YORK | ROBERT M. McBRIDE & COMPANY | 1922 (see image above).

Title page verso: Copyright, 1917, by | JAMES BRANCH CABELL | [rule] | [in italic] Printed in the | United States of America | Second Printing, January, 1920 | Third Printing, September, 1920 | Fourth Printing, September, 1921 | Fifth Printing, December, 1922 | [rule] | Published September, 1917 (see image above).


New York: Robert M. McBride & Co., December, 1922


Crown octavo [20 cm. (7 ⅞ in.) x 14 cm. (5½ in.)]; Pp. xvi + 250 + 3 blank leaves not counted in pagination. (i) half-title (verso blank); (iii) frontispiece; (iv) BOOKS by MR. CABELL; (v) title page; (vi) publication data; (vii) dedication (verso blank); ix-xii Introduction, by Harold Ward; (xiii)-(xv) Contents (verso blank); (1) fly-title (verso blank); 3-250 text, followed by 3 blank leaves not counted in pagination. Pages (1), (33), (93), (127), (173), and (221) are fly-titles. Pages (iii), (viii), (xvi), (2), (34), (92), (94), (126), (128), (174), and (222) are blank.


Kalki binding: brick red cloth with gilt lettering and decorations on spine and front cover; top edge trimmed, else untrimmed. Spine: THE | CREAM | OF THE | JEST | [square device] | CABELL | McBRIDE; Front cover: [Kalki device in lower right corner] (see image above).


The Sigil of Scotia, a drawing by James Branch Cabell (see image above).

Also see the discussion of the Sigil of Scotia on the index page for The Cream of the Jest.


TO | LOUISA NELSON | [in italic] "At me ab amore tuo diducet | nulla senectus." (see image above).

Mrs. Louisa Nelson was Cabell's "mammy" as a child, and he remembered her fondly all of his life. He wrote an article about her, "Of Southern Ladies," which was published in the May, 1946, issue of The Atlantic Monthly. This article was later incorporated into Let Me Lie, LML-A1.

The quotation is from The Elegies of Propertius (Elegia XXV), and translates, more-or-less, as "but my love for you withdraws with age."

Dust jacket:

Not seen.