James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

THE LINE OF LOVE; illustrated in color by Howard Pyle
THE LINE OF LOVE; Dizain des Mariages

James Hall Code
First Printing, Second State 1905
LoL-B1 (K)
LoL-B2 (K)
LoL-B3 (K)
LoL-C1 (S)
LoL-C2 (RS)
LoL-D1 (E)
LoL-D1a (E)
LoL-D1b (E)
English Edition, variant binding 1929

POOR JACK: A Play in One Act

James Hall Code


A Note on the Contents of The Line of Love:

As originally published in 1905, The Line of Love collected seven previously published stories and a newly written Envoi (links are to the stories as originally published):

The Episode Called Adhelmar at Puysange (Harper's Magazine, April, 1904, as "The Story of Adhelmar")
The Episode Called Love-Letters of Falstaff (Harper's Magazine, March, 1902)
The Episode Called Sweet Adelais (Harper's Magazine, March, 1905)
The Episode Called In Necessity's Mortar (Harper's Magazine, October, 1905)
The Episode Called The Conspiracy of Arnaye (Harper's Magazine, June, 1903)
The Episode Called The Castle of Content (Harper's Magazine, August, 1903)
The Episode Called In Ursula's Garden (Harper's Magazine, May, 1903)

When the revised edition was published in 1921, the new version was subtitled Dizain des Mariages. Two stories were added to round the collection to a dizain (again, links are to the stories as originally published):

The Episode Called The Wedding Jest (Century Magazine, September, 1919)
The Episode Called Porcelain Cups (Century Magazine, November, 1919)


Note on the 1905 Harpers Printing of The Line of Love:

Cabell’s first two published books, The Eagle’s Shadow (1904) and The Line of Love (1905), share the distinction of having the largest number of different ‘states’ of their first printings. Most of the previous bibliographers have not attempted to enumerate these in detail, instead opting to describe the first one or two, then adding something along the lines of “later bindings omit most of the elaborate ornamentations and gilt lettering”1. James Hall, in his A Complete Bibliography of James Branch Cabell (1974), is the only one of Cabell’s previous bibliographers who attempts to provide a definitive list of every state of every title in the Cabell canon.

In the case of The Eagle’s Shadow, Hall lists six American Doubleday issues and two English ones by William Heinemann. Each of these uses the same printing of the text itself, but this text is surrounded by a confusing mix of different bindings, endpapers, frontispieces, and dedications. While we have not yet been able to examine a copy of each of these states in person2, to date we haven’t found anything that adds to Hall’s list.

For The Line of Love, the situation is in some ways simpler. Harper and Brothers issued the title under their “New York and London” imprint, so there is no difference between the examples sold in the two countries. Additionally, all observed examples have had the same internals: title pages, frontispieces, even the endpapers are identical in every copy we’ve examined. It is only in examination of the bindings that we find the need to employ our bibliographic skills.

Hall lists five different bindings, including the “red flexible” (LoL-A1d). Although none of Cabell’s formal bibliographers have put forward the suggestion in print, some within the Cabell collecting community have suggested that the examples in this binding are advance reader’s copies, and we tend to agree with this theory. No supporting documentation has yet been found, but the general appearance is consistent with this usage, and the red flexible certainly does not look like a binding intended for retail sale. Of the four remaining states, the first (LoL-A1) was issued in an elaborate gift box and tissue dust jacket, consistent with the first issues of the other two Harpers titles, Gallantry (Gal-A1, 1907) and Chivalry (Chiv-A1, 1909). Again consistent with the other two titles, the later bindings are progressively simpler and less expensive. Hall’s fourth and final state (LoL-A1c) is the simplest of all: an unadorned red cloth with the title and author’s name printed in gilt on the front cover and spine.3

It’s been over forty years since James Hall published his bibliography, and computers and the internet provide today’s collectors and bibliographers with tools and resources literally unimagined in 1974. It is thanks to these, rather than our scintillating scholarship, that we are able to add two additional states to Hall’s list. For convenience, we have termed these as states five (*LoL-A1e) and six (*LoL-A1f), although it should be noted that this does not imply order of issue. Both are identical to LoL-A1c except for the color of the cloth. In addition to red, we have discovered copies in both brown and green cloth.

Additionally, there is an obvious “sea change” between the first three and last three binding states. The first state in bound in a fine textured, olive green cloth, with gilt lettering, elaborate decoration in white on both the cover and spine, and a paste on insert from a painting by Howard Pyle (the insert is a detail from an illustration for Cabell's The Story of Adhelmar, which appeared in Harper's Monthly Magazine for April, 1904). We have not yet been able to examine a copy of the second state (LoL-A1a), but it is described as identical to the first, except for black lettering instead of gilt.4 The third state (LoL-A1b) has the same format and decorations, but the cloth is a much coarser green-beige, and the lettering is dark green.

The final three states are very plain, without any of the decorations, and has been mentioned, they are identical except for the color of the cloth. It would not surprise us greatly if there were copies in other colors yet to be recorded. Based solely on the simpler yet similar design, and without any other evidence, we offer the speculation that these last three are in fact remainder bindings, likely issued at a later date than the first three.


  1. Brussel, I. R., James Branch Cabell, A Revised Bibliography, p. 27.
  2. We’re still looking for copies of Eag-A1a and –A1b, and of course any variant that Hall doesn’t list. Can any reader help?
  3. In her James Branch Cabell - A Bibliography of his Writings, Biography, and Criticism, Frances Brewer states, on page 22, “the first is the only [state] with gold lettering”. Other bibliographers make similar statements. While this is correct for the second and third bindings, the following states revert to gilt.
  4. However, we note that previous bibliographies make this same assertion regarding the second states of both Gallantry and Chivalry. Our examinations of second state copies of both of these titles demonstrate that this is not quite correct. The gilt lettering has in fact been replaced by black, and the decorations are identical, just as described. However, in both cases the original fine weave cloth has been replaced with much coarser version. The color is similar, but the texture is very different. Until we have been able to examine a surviving example of LoL-A1a, therefore (can any reader help?), we leave open the possibility that their may yet be unrecorded differences between the first and second states.