James Branch Cabell : An Illustrated Bibliography

JURGEN: A Comedy of Justice


An Amateur Ghost & Some Ladies and Jurgen

argosysmart setIn keeping with his philosophy of literary economy, James Branch Cabell incorporated two previously published short stories into Jurgen. These were "An Amateur Ghost", originally published in The Argosy, February, 1902 [Brewer No. 61], and "Some Ladies and Jurgen", which first appeared in The Smart Set for July, 1918 [Brewer No. 245]. In the novel, chapter XVI, "Divers Imbroglios of King Smoit", and chapter XVII, "About a Cock that crowed too soon", were based on the earlier story. An Amateur Ghost has been previously reprinted at least twice: in Kalki, No. 7.4 (Whole No. 28), 1978; and in Phantasmagoria (Wildside Press, 2006), by Douglas Menville and Robert Reginald (available on the web HERE). It is presented here in its original incarnation, scanned from a copy of the 1902 magazine. We have not yet located an original copy of "Some Ladies and Jurgen". The copy presented here was scanned from the website of The Modernist Journals Project, a joint project of Brown University and The University of Tulsa. "Some Ladies and Jurgen" was also reprinted as an Appendix to the 2011 Dover Publications edition of Jurgen, *Jur-N2 (w), pp. 329-345. Click on the images at left to access the Adobe PDF files. You'll need to use your browser's back button to return to The Silver Stallion.



Jurgen by Aubrey Beardsley

beardsley coververdigrisneophyteIf you turn to Between Friends, page 98, you'll find this in a letter dated January 6, 1919, from James Branch Cabell to Guy Holt:

While I think of it, have you seen the Beardsley book, in the Modern Library? For months I have been intending to inquire of you if these pictures are copyright, for some of them would make admirable illustrations. Look at the "Baron Verdigris," and you have Jurgen in his habit as he lived: and the "Neophyte" is Jurgen in Cocaigne, of course, with Anaïtis and Mother Sereda. Do you look into this.

The book Cabell is referring to is The Art of Aubrey Beardsley, introduced by Arthur Symons and published in 1918 in The Modern Library. The two illustrations are shown at right: "The Neophyte" (near right) and "Baron Verdigris" (far right).



kalkijenkinssidesIn the end, nothing came of Cabell's inspiration, and Beardsley's drawings were never used for Jurgen. They did appear, though, in the Fall 1969 verdigrisissue of Kalki, Vol. III No. 4. "Baron Verdigris," which originally appeared as the frontispiece to a novel titled Baron Verdigris, by Jocelyn Quilp (London, Henry & Co., 1894), was used on the cover, shown far left. "The Neophyte" was originally titled "Of a Neophyte, and how the Black Art was revealed unto him by the Fiend Ausomel." This drawing was originally published in the June, 1893, issue of Pall Mall Magazine. In this issue of Kalki it was used as the head-piece for an article titled Sides of Jurgen. We are indebted to William Jenkins' Kalki descriptions for the original publications of these drawings.

"Jocelyn Quilp" was a pseudonym used by Halliwell Sutcliff (1870-1932), author of a number of fin de siècle romances of the "verily and forsooth" genre. Hard copies of Baron Verdigris are difficult to find. Both the 1894 first edition and the 1896 second edition are electronically available to view from the Hathi Trust. Google Books also has the second printing in ebook form.