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1921 Jurgen by James Brach Cabell / LIMITED EDITION one of 3,000 Copies / Amazing Illustrations by Frank C Papé / Landmark in Comic Fantasy

1921 Jurgen by James Brach Cabell / LIMITED EDITION one of 3,000 Copies / Amazing Illustrations by Frank C Papé / Landmark in Comic Fantasy

Regular price $167.00 AUD
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With absolutely wonderful illustrations - here is a limited edition of Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by American writer James Branch Cabell. Published in 1921 by John Lane, The Bodley Head, London. With a colour frontispiece and twelve illustrations of the highest order by Frank C Papé. The contents are in good condition, with some wear to the exterior but overall remaining a lovely copy.

Jurgen gained fame (or notoriety) shortly after its publication in 1919. It is a humorous romp through a medieval cosmos, including a send-up of Arthurian legend, and excursions to Heaven and Hell as in The Divine Comedy. Cabell's work is recognized as a landmark in the creation of the comic fantasy novel, influencing Terry Pratchett and many others.

Frank Cheyne Papé was an English artist and illustrator whose work included painting using gouache, water colour, and illustration in pen and ink. In 1921 literary critic Clement Shorter said readers of Cabell's Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice would be "enticed into the absorption of this book by the luxury of its illustration. The drawings are by Frank C. Papé and are certainly very beautiful and quaint". A 1928 review said Papé was "renowned among collectors of modern first editions for his decorations in the books of Cabell...".

The growing "cult of Papé" resulted in a character in Alec Waugh's novel Kept (1925) referencing Papé's illustrations in Jurgen- "For several minutes she remained bent over Pape’s illustrated Jurgen. 'How good they are,' she said. 'I should doubt if an artist has ever entered more completely into the spirit of the writer...' ".

Inside this copy the pages are clean and bright with just the occasional dark mark or blemish. Opens onto wonderful illustrated endpapers. Cracks open at the hinge opposite the half-title page to reveal webbing beneath. This gives the opening pages a mild wobble but the binding of the text block remains good and strong. Has a tipped-in colour frontispiece, then twelve of the most fantastic illustrations you'll see for any novel. All present as called for. The top closed edge is tinted red.

Black cloth covered boards have gilt decoration to the front and spine. With just the odd faint light mark to the cloth. Has some rubbing to the cloth at the corners. With rubbing also to the spine ends where there are few small splits in the cloth. Finally, has some rubbing down the spine joints where there is a little fraying. The fraying has possibly been halted at some point with a little glue in one area (see final close-up photo), but this is not particularly noticeable.

A superb book. Your copy of Jurgen will be wrapped with care in tissue and ribbon* and sent well packaged. I am always happy to add a gift card with a message if desired.

H 25 cm x W 16 cm, 326 pages, 0.71 kg. I dispatch worldwide daily from the UK. With the exception of a small number of countries.

* If you would prefer for your book not to be decoratively wrapped and sent just in the full packaging simply add a note to the order.

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