The Silver Stallion

James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

FROM THE HIDDEN WAY: Being Seventy-Five Adaptations in Verse
FROM THE HIDDEN WAY: Dizain des Échoes

Bibliographic Notes for the 1916 printing of From the Hidden Way:

Guy Holt, in his 1924 Bibliography of James Branch Cabell, Hall F2 (A9), noted only a single state of the sheets and internals, and listed the following binding states (we've added the Hall codes for clarity):

FHW-A1: 1st state (1916); 245 copies. This was the only binding used when the book was first issued in 1916. Wine red cloth, dropped "c" in McBride on the spine, shorter (by ¼ in.) than the later issues.
FHW-A1a: 2nd state (1920): 99 copies. This binding was in the same wine red cloth and had the same printing and decorations as the 1st, with the exception that the "c" in McBride on the spine was raised and underlined. It was also ¼ in. taller (according to Brussel. We have not seen a copy of this binding).
FHW-A1b: 3rd state (1920): 176 copies. Bound in the reddish-brown cloth used for the Kalki editions, but otherwise identical to the 2nd issue.
FHW-A1d: 4th state (1921): 100 copies. In the Kalki binding.

This adds up to a total 1916 press run of 620 copies. Less than half of them were bound in 1916*, with the rest issued in small batches after Jurgen increased the demand for Cabell's works. Both Brussel and Brewer concurred with Holt's descriptions. Since Holt was, after all, Cabell's editor in 1920-21, there was little reason to question his statements. By 1972, though, Hall was able to add a previously undescribed 4th state, relegating Holt's 4th state to 5th position. We note that he did so somewhat tentatively, calling it a binding "freak". His FHW-A1c is an anomaly: bound in the unusual FL cloth used on a few other early McBride issues, it has the lettering and decorations of FHW-A1b, but also has the Kalki emblem of the stallion "rampant in every member." This makes it unique in the Cabell canon. Hall corresponded with Brussel regarding his copy, who suggested that it was "probably unique." Now, thanks to the increased access due to the internet, we know that FHW-A1c is not in fact a one-off freak. Between our editor and webmaster, The Silver Stallion possesses four copies in this binding ourselves, and we would not be surprised if there were others. Hall's tentative identification of FHW-A1c as a true binding state is solidly confirmed.

The fact that we've seen numerous copies of this binding raises, in our minds at last, another question. Where are the 99 copies of FHW-A1a? As noted above, we have not confirmed any copies in this binding. According to my notes, the present writer (Thorne) did examine one copy in this binding, in the library of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. This was well over thirty years ago, and I hven't seen another one since. "Appendix A, Where to Find It," in Hall's bibliography lists the whereabouts (in 1974) of two copies, one in William Godshalk's collection and one at Virginia Commonwealth University. During our 2016 visit to the Cabell Library at VCU, I specifically looked for their copy but was unable to locate it. Does anyone know what happened to Bill Godshalk's collection when he died? Although 99 copies may not seem like very many, I can only compare the apparent scarcity of this binding with the seemingly common issues in the Kalki binding, FHW-A1d and *FHW-A1e. Holt stated that there were only 100 copies in the Kalki binding, and yet copies are regularly offered for sale on the internet. We at The Silver Stallion own four copies in that binding. If any of our readers have a copy of the 1916 edition of From the Hidden Way in the 2nd state, please send us scans.

The Silver Stallion has noted one additional variation. We have seen the 1916 sheets in two distinctly different Kalki bindings, indicating that these were bound in two different batches. The first of these, which we've designated with Hall's FHW-A1d code, is in the same FL cloth as FHW-A1c, and is about ⅛ in. taller than the 1st state, and ⅛ in. shorter than the other later states. The second Kalki binding (6th binding state), which we've called *FHW-A1e, is in Kalki B cloth and is, as mentioned, ⅛ in. taller than FHW-A1d. The two states are otherwise identical.

One final note, on dust jackets. We have not seen an unmodified dust jacket as we assume it was issued in 1916, but we have examined four copies of a 2nd state. In these, the original $1.25 price on the cover and spine has been covered by a printed label reading $2.00 (we've seen white labels with red lettering and a red label with black lettering), and the prices for both The Certain Hour and From the Hidden Way on the flaps have been blacked out. Also, the jacket is sized to fit the 1st state, and so is too short for all of the following issues except FHW-A1d, even though it was clearly issued with at least some of them. We have not seen a dust jacket sized for the later, taller bindings, and we suspect that none was ever produced.

* entirely understandable. Cabell was still relatively unknown in 1916, and books of poetry are rarely big sellers even in the best of circumstances.