Scot Kamins kamins at
Tue Aug 29 14:13:06 EDT 2006

On Aug 29, 2006, at 10:38 AM, acpertusi wrote:

> ron:
> please let me know what you know about bemelmans.
> my copy is a stated first modern library edition, 1941.
> the pages are very thick and the reverse of the jacket
> is completely blank.
> unless I am mistaken sometime ago neaville felt that
> this was  the true first edition: thick pages and blank
> on the reverse.

I have these notes at ModernLib on Bemelmans:

Identifying the true first of War with the United States is difficult.
To begin with, this title is notorious for having its "First Modern  
Library Edition" slug remain in place in printings subsequent to the  
first. Further, there were two variations of dust jacket seemingly  
used at the same time for the first book printing: One has a list of  
278 titles on the dust jacket's inverse while the other's inverse is  
blank. Both indicate "over 250 titles" on the back panel. And  
finally, the book was printed with both thinner and thicker paper.

The slight preponderance of evidence says that the true first is the  
one with the blank inverse dust jacket on a book with thicker paper.


Barry's Bindary at Amenities has the following info:


I believe the printing on thicker paper without a list of titles  
inside the jacket is the first. My War with the United States was  
published in October 1941, a few months before Pearl Harbor; later  
printings were made during wartime when paper shortages were a  
continuing problem.

My War with the United States, like The Thurber Carnival, was printed  
by offset lithography, which accounts for retention of the First  
statement on subsequent printings (see my column in MLC 44). If the  
first printing jacket was printed by the same printer (and it looks  
to me as if it's also printed by offset lithography) that would  
explain the lack of a list. Other ML jackets were printed  
letterpress, and the ML probably only had letterpress plates for the  
seasonal lists of titles inside the jackets.

If anybody has a Bemelmans with a 278 (fall 1941) list inside the  
jacket please let me know. I'm always delighted to be proved wrong!

- Barry

{I have three copies, each with the 1st ML, and described as follows:

Thin book with 299 titles inside the DJ and 275 outside
Thick book with NO titles inside the DJ and 250 outside
Thick book with 278 titles inside and 250 outside.

So, which is the true first DJ? - John M. Wolansky}


And finally, there's a discussion in the Archives (current through  
March 2006) about Bemelmans with two many entries to list here.

- Scot Kamins
"Speak your truth, even as your voice quakes."

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