James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

JURGEN: A Comedy of Justice

Hall Code
Jur-B1 (P)
First English & First Illustrated Edition 1921






















Full Title:

Jurgen| A Comedy of Justice | by James Branch Cabell | With Illustrations & Decorations by | Frank C. Papé and an intro- | duction by Hugh Walpole | [Next five lines in italics] "Of Jurgen eke they maken mencioun, | That of an old wyf gat his youthe agoon, | And gat himself a shirte as bright as fire | Wherein to jape, yet gat not his desire | In any countrie ne condicioun." | decoration | John Lane, The Bodley Head Limited | London mcmxxi (four fleurons) (see image above).


First illustrated edition, published November 11, 1921 by John Lane, The Bodley Head Limited, London.


Medium octavo [24.75 cm. (9¾ in.) x 15.25 cm. (6 in.)] consisting of a blank leaf, followed by pp. xviii+332 (together with a colored frontispiece and twelve pages of black and white illustrations, all tipped in) as follows: p. (i) Half-title: JURGEN (verso [In italics] This edition is strictly limited | to 3000 copies); Frontispiece consisting of a mounted colored illustration within an ornamental border; p. (iii) Title-page as above (verso [In italics] Printed by Richard Clay & Sons, Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk.); p. v carries Dedication (verso three Quotations accredited to Philip Borsdale, E. Noel Codman, and John Frederick Lewistam); pp. vii - viii text of Introduction by Hugh Walpole; pp. ix-x Contents; p. xi List of Plates (verso blank); p. (xiii) Fly-title: A FOREWARD | [In italics] "Nescio quid certé est: et Hylax in limine latrat." (verso blank); pp. xv-xvii text of A Foreward; p. (xviii) blank, followed by text pp. (1)-325, p. (1) Fly-title: JURGEN | [In italics] . . . amara lento temperet risu; p. (2) blank; p. (326) blank; p. (327-328) Critical opinion of James Branch Cabell; pp. (329-330) Publisher's advertisements, last leaf blank.


Top edge stained red, otherwise uncut, in black cloth. Front cover in gilt: Jurgen | (ornament) | (three diamonds) James Branch Cabell (three diamonds) | (diamond) Illustrated by Frank C. Papé (diamond) | (single diamond formed out of four diamonds). Spine in gilt: JURGEN | (three diamonds) | James | Branch | Cabell | (single diamond formed out of four diamonds) | Illustrated by | Frank C. Papé | (three diamonds) | The Bodley Head (see image above).


Tipped in color illustration enclosed in gilt ornamental border, showing a young woman in a pastoral scene; text below: Dorothy la Désirée (see image above).


TO | BURTON RASCOE; followed by dedication in acrostic verse of three quatrains (see image above).


Black and white illustration by Frank C. Papé showing a prone figure playing a lyre, being torn in two by a devil and angel (see image above).

Dust jacket:

Black paper. Front panel in red: Jurgen | (ornament) | (three diamonds) James Branch Cabell (three diamonds) | (diamond) Illustrated by Frank C. Papé (diamond) | (single diamond formed out of four diamonds). Spine in red: JURGEN | (three diamonds) | James | Branch | Cabell | (single diamond formed out of four diamonds) | Illustrated by | Frank C. Papé | (three diamonds) | WITH AN | INTRODUCTION | BY | HUGH WALPOLE | 25/- NET | THE BODLEY HEAD. Rear panel and end flaps blank (see image above).


The text of The Judging of Jurgen, Hall JoJ-A1, was incorporated into the text of this edition, pp. 209-212.

There is one minor feature of this edition that, as far as we know, has not been noted by previous bibliographers. It has been recorded that following the text, pp. [327-328], there is an excerpt from a letter review of Jurgen that originally appeared in "The Times" Literary Supplement, June 16, 1921. What has not been mentioned is the presence of a small slip tipped in onto the previous page, reading

This article in "The Times" Literary Supplement was written | and signed by Mr. C.E. Bechhofer, by whose permission | it is here reprinted.

What is not clear is whether this slip was originally present in all copies of this printing. Fine, near unread copies exist without this slip, and with no evidence that it was ever pasted in. It may be that the slip was included in only some copies, although which ones, and why, is presently unknown.

For those who would like to read the entire Bechhofer article as it was originally published in "The Times", it is available HERE. A few years later, this review was lightly revised and reprinted in Chapter III of Bechhofer's The Literary Renaissance in America, London, William Heinemann, 1923.


Papé's Illustrations for Cabell's "Jurgen"

international studioShortly after this printing was published, Burton Rascoe wrote an article discussing the Papé illustrations in The International Studio magazine, which appeared in the January, 1922 issue. You can access this very interesting article by clicking on the image at left. This copy was taken from Google scans. As usual, it is presented as a *.pdf file; you'll need to use your browser's "back" button to return to The Silver Stallion.




Jurgen as an Old Man

old manletter"Jurgen as an Old Man" is an illustration for Jurgen, drawn by Frank Papé but not used in the book. In 1981, Nelson Bond issued reproductions of the drawing in a limited edition of twelve lettered copies [I'm writing this from memory and I'm not 100% sure about that number - there may have been numbered copies also, so if any reader can correct me, please do so]. The letter at near right is one Mr. Bond wrote to me in 1983. In it, he discussed the circumstance of his discovery, and professed no knowledge of its origins, other than to speculate that it might have been intended as a final illustration for the story. However, we can perhaps add a bit more information. In a letter to Papé dated January 18, 1922, Cabell wrote 'Nothing, I think, could be better than you "extra illustration" to Jurgen, and I am sure that nothing could have given me greater amusement or pleasure. The drawing is now duly inserted in my copy of the English Jurgen, and you have my heartiest thanks therefor.' It seems very likely to The Silver Stallion that "Jurgen as an Old Man" is the extra illustration Frank Papé sent to James Branch Cabell. This 1922 letter was reproduced in The Letters of James Branch Cabell, edited by Edward Wagenknecht, University of Oklahoma Press, 1975 (Hall-SS *A35). For some reason, I am unable to locate my properly issued copy of "Jurgen as an Old Man", so I've reproduced one of the three printer's trial copies Bond mentioned in his letter: this is the one on an off-color paper - the paper on the final copies is slightly darker.

John Thorne