Writing About James Branch Cabell:
Books of Literary Criticism that Discuss Cabell

ON STRANGE ALTARS: A Book of Enthusiasms

Brewer Code


The subtitle descibes On Strange Altars as A Book of Enthusiasms, and to me this seems quite appropriate. Most of the articles discuss particular authors (James Branch Cabell, pp. 200-213, and Arthur Machen, pp. 214-235, among them), but he also includes articles on specific novels and on his own literary journey.

The first and second printings differ in several details, even though the tpv does not distinguish between them. The dust jackets are similar in design but differ in detail: both on grey paper, but the first is printed in green and the second in black; all of the panels differ at least partially in content; and the jacket for the second printing states "Second printing" on the spine. Internally, the first printing includes the Boni cockerel device on the title page, which is omitted in the second printing. Also, the bindings are different. Both are in green cloth with identical gilt lettering, but the first printing is bound in flat woven Blanck type "B" cloth (the same cloth, albeit not the same color, used in most of the Kalki bindings), while the second printing is bound in ribbed Blanck type "T" cloth.