James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

The Works of James Branch Cabell

Brewer Code
No. 53 v. 12
The Works of James Branch Cabell 1927-1930


storisende set






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Full Title (from slipcase labels):

The [in italic] Storisende Edition of | THE WORKS OF | JAMES BRANCH CABELL | [Kalki device] | IN NINETEEN VOLUMES (slipcases for vols. 1-9) /or/ IN EIGHTEEN VOLUMES (slipcases for vols. 10-18) | VOLUME | [3 titles listed, numbered by volume. Titles in all caps, subtitles in italic caps and smalls] | [[in italic] This is set number [number handwritten in red, over printed underline] | ROBERT M. McBRIDE & COMPANY | PUBLISHERS NEW YORK (see images above for all six labels).

Vol. No. Hall Code
Volume Title
Publication Date
I BL-D1 (S) Beyond Life September, 1927
II FoE-E1 (S) Figures of Earth September, 1927
III SS-C1 (S) The Silver Stallion September, 1927
IV Dom-C1 (S) Domnei · The Music From Behind the Moon March, 1928
V Chiv-C1 (S) Chivalry March, 1928
VI Jur-E1 (S)
Jurgen March, 1928
VII LoL-C1 (S) The Line of Love September, 1928
VIII HP-D1 (S) The High Place September, 1928
IX Gal-C1 (S) Gallantry September, 1928
X Eve-C1 (S) Something About Eve March, 1929
XI CH-C1 (S) The Certain Hour March, 1929
XII CoV-E1 (S) The Cords of Vanity March, 1929
XIII FHW-C1 (S) From the Hidden Way · The Jewel Merchants September, 1929
XIV Riv-D1 (S) The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck September, 1929
XV Eag-D1 (S) The Eagle's Shadow September, 1929
XVI CoJ-E1 (S) Cream of the Jest · The Lineage of Lichfield March, 1930
XVII SPB-C1 (S) Straws and Prayer-Books March, 1930
XVIII ToL-A1 (S) Townsend of Lichfield March, 1930


New York: McBride & Company, 1927 (Vols. I-III), 1928 (Vols. IV-IX), 1929 (Vols. X-XV), 1930 (Vols. XVI-XVIII)


Medium octavo [23.5 cm. (9¼ in.) x 15.9 cm (6¼ in.)]; (collation varies by title, see individual title listings)


Dark green cloth; gilt decorations and lettering on spine; top edges trimmed and gilded, otherwise untrimmed. Spine: [double rule] | THE WORKS | OF | JAMES | BRANCH | CABELL | [volume number] | [volume title or titles in one or more lines] | McBRIDE | [double rule]. Front cover: [all enclosed in a single line blind rule] [centered Kalki device in blind, enclosed in a double ruled circle in blind].


(varies by title, see individual title listings)


prospectusk1At far left is a scan of an original copy of the prospectus for The Works of James Branch Cabell. Near left, an article from Kalki No. 36 about the prospectus, which included a photographic reproduction of it. In the article, the author noted that the "publisher's" name was given as Methodist Publishing House, Richmond, Virginia, and questioned why a religious book dealer would be the publisher of this work. In the second copy, though, that line reads Peabody Book Shop, Baltimore, Maryland. Instead of stating the the publisher's name, this space was probably left blank, so that a seller could add his own imprint. Both documents are in Adobe PDF format. You'll need to use your browser's BACK button to return to The Silver Stallion after accessing them.



Dust jackets / Slipcases:

Individual volumes were not issued in dust jackets. Instead, each was wrapped in tissue and sealed. Early volumes in this set were sealed with adhesive paper dots, as shown above. Later volumes were simply sealed with adhesive tape. Slipcases were provided for each group of three volumes issued together.

We previously noted The slipcases were sturdy cardboard covered in forest green paper, each with a paper label (see images above). That statement was based on the one set of Storisendes in slipcases that we had examined. In that set, only the slipcase for volumes I through III is covered in forest green paper, while the remaining five cases are a much paler green. At the time, we assumed that the other cases had simply faded. You know what they say about assumptions! Recently we have had the opportunity to examine a second set (no. 723) in slipcases. The cases in this set are the same color as the first - the first three volumes are in a forest green slipcase, while the remaining slipcases are covered in the paler green shade of paper.

The labels on the first three cases state that nineteen volumes were to be issued, as listed in the prospectus. The phantom nineteenth volume was to be Vol. VXII, a dizain titled The Witch Woman.


The copy of The Works of James Branch Cabell illustrated here is no. 1586 of 1590. When the owner (Thorne) bought this set, many years ago, the seller claimed that this was McBride's file copy. There's no way to confirm this of course, but it's an interesting story, and who knows? It might even be true. In any case, matching numbered sets are less common than might be supposed. The books were issued three at a time, at six month intervals, by subscription. McBrides were supposed to keep track of each subscriber's set numbers and ensure that everyone got matching sets, but they appear to have been less than rigorous in this regard, because some subscribers are known to have wound up with non-matching sets.