more on bemelmans

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at
Mon Apr 7 21:26:12 EDT 2003

I still can't assign priority to the two Bemelmans jackets.  One has a 278 list, the inside of the other is blank.  Both are on thick paper copies of MY WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES and both indicate "over 250" titles on the back panel.  

Bemelmans was published in the ML in October 1941.  The "over 250" titles statement on the back panel of the jackets was used for several seasons but for the LAST time in fall 1941.  The first 1942 title, published in February, is ORACLES OF NOSTRADAMUS.  As was often the case for the first one or two spring titles, the inside of the Nostradamus jacket lists 278 titles (the fall 1941 list) but the back panel states "over 275" titles--the first ML jacket to do so.  I conclude from this that both jackets with the statement "over 250" titles on the back panel were printed in fall 1941.  My inclination is to describe the jackets as variant A and variant B.  I'm certain they both adorn copies of first ML printings.  Why were there two printings of the Bemelmans jacket, or two variants of the same printing?  I have no idea.  I don't have a copy of the fall 1941 jacket with the list of titles, but will hope to compare them when I get a chance (next time I'm in New Orleans Pete!)  My copy with the blank interior appears to have been printed by offset lithoghraphy.  Could the other jacket have been printed letterpress?  Or is there some other expanation?  That's all I can say at present.

Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
106 Kresge Library
Detroit MI 48202
313-577-0507 (voice); 313-577-7563 (fax)
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