James Branch Cabell

Cabell, Branch

Branch Cabell (James Branch Cabell) (kă´bəl), 1879–1958, American novelist, b. Richmond, Va., grad. William and Mary, 1898. After various experiences as a journalist and a coal miner he began writing fiction. His early works, which are sophisticated novels deriding conventional history, include Gallantry (1907), Chivalry (1909), and The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck (1915). Many of Cabell's most popular novels are set in the imaginary medieval kingdom of Poictesme; among these are The Cream of the Jest (1917), Jurgen (1919)—Cabell's most famous work because of its attempted suppression on charges of obscenity—and The Silver Stallion (1926). Cabell's novels are usually pointedly antirealistic, and many of them can be considered moral allegories. Although he was enormously popular in the 1920s, his highly artifical prose style and subject matter lost favor with critics and public alike by the 1930s. His nonfictional writing includes Beyond Life (1919), The St. Johns (with A. J. Hanna, 1943), and Here Let Me Lie (1947).

See studies by J. L. Davis (1962), D. Tarrant (1967), H. Walpole (1920, repr. 1973), and L. D. Rubin (1959, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

James Branch Cabell: Selected full-text books and articles

James Branch Cabell By Carl Van Doren R. M. McBride & Company, 1932
Between Friends: Letters of James Branch Cabell and Others By Carl Van Vechten; Margaret Freeman Cabell; Padraic Colum Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962
Quiet, Please By James Branch Cabell University of Florida Press, 1952
Straws and Prayer-Books: Dizain Des Diversions By James Branch Cabell R.M. McBride & Company, 1924
Hamlet Had an Uncle: A Comedy of Honor By James Branch Cabell Farrar & Rinehart, 1940
FREE! The Certain Hour (Dizain des Poëtes) By James Branch Cabell R. M. McBride & Company, 1916
Minor American Novelists By Charles Alva Hoyt Southern Illinois University Press, 1970
Librarian’s tip: "James Branch Cabell" p. 41
Fifty Southern Writers after 1900: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook By Joseph M. Flora; Robert Bain Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "James Branch Cabell" p. 74
Cavalcade of the American Novel: From the Birth of the Nation to the Middle of the Twentieth Century By Edward Wagenknecht Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1952
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XVIII "James Branch Cabell"
Creating the Modern American Novel By Harlan Henthorne Hatcher Farrar & Rinehart, 1935
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "James Branch Cabell"
Prometheans, Ancient and Modern By Burton Rascoe G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1933
Librarian’s tip: "James Branch Cabell" p. 273
The Fantasy Tradition in American Literature: From Irving to Le Guin By Brian Attebery Indiana University Press, 1980
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of James Branch Cabell begins on p. 118
Serpent in Eden: H.L. Mencken and the South By Fred C. Hobson University of North Carolina Press, 1974
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "James Branch Cabell: The Last Aristocrat"
The American Novel To-Day: A Social and Psychological Study By Raegis Michaud Boston, Little, Brown, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IX "James Branch Cabell and the Escape to Poictesme" and Chap. X "James Branch Cabell on the High Place"
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