Foundational Reading

cover of The Cabellian volume 1 no. 1 1968
The Cabellian: A Journal of the Second American Renaissance, vol. 1, No. 1, 1968
Image: John Thorne and William Lloyd, The Silver Stallion

The following bibliography lists a number of foundational texts for the study of James Branch Cabell’s life and works. For a more extensive listing of scholarly and biographical writing about James Branch Cabell,  see “Writing About Cabell” and “Supplementary Bibliography: Writing About Cabell 1975-2015” in An Illustrated Bibliography of Works by and about James Branch Cabell, by John Thorne & Bill Lloyd on the Silver Stallion website.


Cabell, Margaret Freeman and Padriac Colum. Between Friends: Letters of James Branch Cabell and Others. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962.

The Cabellian: A Journal of the Second American Renaissance, vol. 1 (1968/1969) – vol. 4 (1972).

Coleman, Bob. “Reframing Historical Fantasies in James Branch Cabell’s The Cream of the Jest.” Studies in American Culture, vol. 30, no. 1, Oct. 2007, pp. 44–63.

Cover, James P. Notes on Jurgen. R. M. McBride & Company, 1928.

Cowley, Malcolm, and Harry T. Moore. After the Genteel Tradition: American Writers, 1910-1930. Southern Illinois University Press, 1967.

Davis, Joe Lee. James Branch Cabell. Twayne Publishers, 1962.

Duke, Maurice. “James Branch Cabell’s Personal Library.” Studies in Bibliography, vol. 23, 1970, pp. 207–216.

Foeller-Pituch, Elżbieta. “‘Transmuted by Time’s Handling’: Metamorphosis in James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen.” Metamorphosis and Place, edited by Joshua Parker et al., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, pp. 7–15.

Godshalk, William Leigh. In Quest of Cabell: Five Exploratory Essays. Revisionist Press, 1975.

Hopkins, Izabela. “James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice: A Reappraisal.” Mississippi Quarterly, vol. 73, no. 2, 2020, pp. 143-168.

Inge, M. Thomas. James Branch Cabell: Centennial Essays. Louisiana State University Press, 1983.

Kalki. Studies in James Branch Cabell. vol. 1 (1965/1966) – vol. 10 (1993).

MacDonald, Edgar E. James Branch Cabell and Richmond-in-Virginia. University Press of Mississippi, 1993.

McNeill, Warren A. Cabellian Harmonics. Random House, 1928.

Morley-Mower, Geoffrey. Cabell Under Fire: Four Essays. Revisionist Press, 1975.

Patterson, William H. “The Heir of James Branch Cabell: the Life of the Biography of the Life of Manuel (A Comedy of Inheritances).” Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, Cabell Prize, 2000.

Plaschka, Oliver. “Distressing Damsels: Gothic Chivalry in James Branch Cabell’s Biography.” Gothic Transgressions: Extension and Commercialization of a Cultural Mode, edited by Redling, Ellen, and Christian Schneider, LIT Verlag, 2015, pp. 77-102.

Riemer, James D. From Satire to Subversion: The Fantasies of James Branch Cabell. Greenwood Press, 1989.

Schlegel, Dorothy B. James Branch Cabell: The Richmond Iconoclast. Revisionist Press, 1975.

Swanwick, Michael. What Can Be Saved from the Wreckage?: James Branch Cabell in the Twenty-First Century. Temporary Culture, 2007.

Tarrant, Desmond. James Branch Cabell: The Dream and the Reality. University of Oklahoma Press, 1967.

Thorne, John and William Lloyd. An Illustrated Bibliography of Works by and about James Branch Cabell. The Silver Stallion (website).

Van Doren, Carl, Mencken, H. L., Walpole, Hugh. James Branch Cabell: Three Essays. Kennikat Press, 1967.

Wagenknecht, Edward (ed.). The Letters of James Branch Cabell. University of Oklahoma Press, 1975.

Warner, Richard. “The Illusion of Diabolism in the Cabellian Hero.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 8, no. 3, 1975, pp. 241–245.

Wells, Arvin R. Jesting Moses, a Study in Cabellian Comedy. University of Florida Press, 1962.

Wetta, Stephen. “Epic and Novel in Cabell’s Silver Stallion.” The Southern Quarterly, vol. 36, no. 1, 1997, pp. 75–84.

Williamson, Jamie. The Evolution of Modern Fantasy: From Antiquarianism to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.