Ibsen question (ML 54)

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Mon Apr 23 11:37:35 EDT 2001

This time I have a question about  Ibsen's The Wild Duck, The League of Youth, Rosmersholm (ML 54).  This appears in ML lists in 1933 and 1934 as The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, The League of Youth, Peer Gynt.  I've never seen a copy with Peer Gynt.  OCLC, the huge bibliographic database that lists the holdings of nearly 40,000 libraries in the U.S. and other countries around the world, has no record of it.  Has anyone ever seen a copy with Peer Gynt?  (Peer Gynt wouldn't necessarily be named on the title page or jacket, but the pagination would be longer than 342 p. -- probably 482 p.)

ML 54 Ibsen was discontinued at the end of 1934.  Eleven Plays of Henrik Ibsen (G18) was published a couple of months later, in February or March 1935.  The Giant was printed from the plates of all three Ibsen volumes in the regular ML.  Peer Gynt is the last play in the collection.  My guess (and this is pure speculation) is that Peer Gynt was added to the ML 54 plates around the beginning of 1933 but that no regular ML printing was made from the enhanced plates.  ML 54 was a fairly slow selling title, and once the decision was made to go ahead with the Giant there was no need to reprint the regular volume.  The Giant may have been the first time the enhanced ML 54 plates were used.  Eleven Plays was originally printed from the plates of three separate regular volumes; the pagination is 305, 330, 482.  It was not until the mid 1940s that it was reset with a single sequence with the pagination ending with 1185.

To the best of my knowledge there was no printing of ML 54 (with or without Peer Gynt) in 1933 or 1934.  If anyone has a copy printed at this period please let me know!  (Spring 1933 lists include Lewis, Arrowsmith but not Stein, Three lives; fall 1934 lists include Heyward, Porgy but not Hamsun, Growth of the soil.)

Many thanks!


Gordon B. Neavill, Associate Professor,
Library & Info. Sci. Program, Wayne State Univ.
106 Kresge Library, Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507 (voice) 313-577-7563 (fax)
aa3401 at wayne.edu

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