France 'Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard'

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at
Mon Feb 24 22:52:59 EST 2003

The ML used the Lafcadio Hearn translation of  CRIME OF SYLVESTRE BONNARD
from 1917 through 1931.  The New ML Edition published in spring 1932 is a
different translation and a new typesetting.

The Hearn translation was originally published by Harper & Bros. in 1890 and
was copyrighted by Harper's.  The ML printed from Harper plates and paid
Harper's royalties of 3 cents a copy (sales from 1925 through 1931 were over
28,000 copies).  Harper's transferred a set of plates to the ML for their
use.  The plates lacked a copyright notice, and the ML made them available
to the Harlem Book Co. for a single-volume collection of four France novels.
When Harper's protested, Cerf paid royalties of 2 cents a copy on the 5,000
copies printed by the Harlem Book Co.--and swore the ML would never use the
Hearn translation again!

I haven't identified the translation used in its place beginning in spring
1932.  It remained in the ML until 1942.


----- Original Message -----
From: "j b krygier" <jbkrygie at>
To: "ModLib List" <modlib at>
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 9:30 PM
Subject: France 'Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard'

> Hi Modlib people,
> Just got two swell balloon cloth titles with decent
> DJs, Sudermann's 'Song of Songs' and France's 'Crime
> of Sylvestre Bonnard.'
> The copy of France (22.2) says 'New Modern Library Edition
> 1932' and has 200 titles on the DJ (with a Spring 1932 list
> of titles).  I noticed that Henry's Guide does not have any
> info in the DJ1st column, and I am assuming this should be
> 200 titles (something to add to the Update and Additions
> page for Henry's Guide at Dogeared, if it is correct
> for the NMLEd of this title).
> Also, does anyone know what was 'new' about this new
> edition (of a title in the ML since 1917) - new plates,
> translation, etc.?
> I actually found this title to be a good read (read a
> different ML copy a few years back) considering that
> Anatole seems to have fallen from literary grace these
> days.
> John K.

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