McCutcheon, George Barr: Truxton King
(researched by Robert Kehoe)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
George Barr McCutheon. Truxton King: A Story of Graustark. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1909.
Copyright for this title is held by, Dodd, Mead & Company.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first American edition of this title is published in trade cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
191 leaves [7][1]2-104[2]105-158[2]159-366[2]367-369[3]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
Introductory material contained
within the book includes the title page and table of contents, which list the chapters according to number and chapter title. There is also a page describing what illustrations are in the book. This page gives information on what the title of the illust
ration and its location in the book.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
Color vignette facing title page, p. 158, and 366; Color plate facing page 104; are illustrated by Harrison Fisher.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The page size is 18.5 cm by 12 cm and the text measures at 14.2 cm by 8.9 cm. The textual features on the pages in this copy of the title are clearly readable and it is fairly easy to measure
dimensions of text relative to page size. The space between lines of text is 4 mm or about 0.4 cm. The position of the illustrations on the plates is in the center of the page and the legend indicating who created the illustration is located near the bo
ttom righthand side of the illustration.
Type size: 84R
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper in this has a somewhat fine granulated appearence and discoloration over time has given the paper a yellowish appearence. The plates are on glossy stock paper which has also faded to a yellowish appear
ence over time. The perservation state of the paper is general fairly good. Their are some minor tears at the bottom of pages 75-135. Also on page 135-136 the bottom right corner is creased. There are also stains on pages 302-303, 308, and 310-315 (near
were two pages come together).
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding of this book is a calico-texture cloth that is not embossed. The binding color is a green, greenish hue with a medium lightness. The stamping was originally yellow, yellowish with a vivid saturation. On this
copy, most of the yellow has rubbed off leaving a lighter version of the green, greenish hue of the binding. There is a colored illustration on glossy paper on the front cover with dark blue staining around the top half of the illustration's figure.
Transcriptions: spine: Truxton/ King/ A Story/ of/ Graustark/ George Barr/ McCutcheon/ Dodd, Mead/ & Company front cover: Truxton/ King/ A Story/ of/ Graustark/ George Barr/ McCutcheon
12 Transcription of title page
Title page recto transcription:
TRUXTON KING/ A STORY of GRAUSTARK/ BY/ GEORGE BARR McCUTCHEON/ Author of "Graustark"/ "Beverly of Graustark"/ etc./ WITH ILLUSTRATIONS/ BY HARRISON FISHER/ NEW YORK/ DODD, MEAD, & COMPANY/ 1909
Title page verso transcription:
COPYRIGHT, 1909/ BY GEORGE BARR McCuTCHEON/ COPYRIGHT, 1909/ BY DODD, MEAD, & COMPANY/ Published, September, 1909
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
I could find no manuscript holdings for this title because they probable do not exist.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
This book does not have a colophon or copy-specific information such as an inscription
or statement specifying this copy as a dedication copy. There are also no markings indicating that this copy was part of a library collection. The only distinguishing marks are located on the last fly leaf verso appearing as: 67254 LIT
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
N/A; The publisher; Dodd, Mead & Company only issued one edition of Truxton in 1909. The publisher also produced a 1911 reprint of this edition.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
There were two printings of the first edition produced by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1909 and 1911. There was one first edition impression produced by W. Briggs (1909) and two different impressions produced in 1909 by Grosset
& Dunlap. There was also one impression done each by C. Scribner's Sons (1916), Stevens and Brown, and Everett & Company(1910).
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
The C. Scribner's Sons listed 1916 as the printing date but the copyright was listed as the original 1909 date. There were two 1909 printings down by Grosset & Dunlap and one 1909 printing by W. Briggs. There were also printings by Stevens & Brown a
nd Everett & Company (1910) in England. All the books had the same pagination, 369 pages, and similar sizes between 19 and 20 cm. This indicates that these are just different impressions of the first edition originally published by Dodd, Mead & Company.
In order for these other publishers to have produced their own impressions, they had to buy printing rights from Dodd, Mead & Company to acquire printing plates used to print their own first editions of Truxton King.
6 Last date in print?
I could not determine the last dat
e the book was in print form the listed sources. These sources only list books that are in print at the time they are published and none of them listed Truxton King as being in print. So I conclude that the book is out of print and none of George Barr M
cCutcheon's other books are still in print.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
I could not locate the figures for total copies of Truxton King sold in any of the given sources. The source, History of Book Publishing, stated that the entire series of McCutcheon's romance of which Truxt
on King is a part sold a total of 3500000 copies. The novel, Graustark, sold about 1500000 of these 3500000 copies. The only figures I could found based on actually sales was in the Publisher's Weekly dated October 9, 1909 when it listed 2728 copies as
having been recently sold.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
I could not locate yearly sales figures of Truxton King in any of the listed sources. I did find the publication, 80 Years of Bestsellers, that in 1909 Truxton King was #6 out of the top ten best sellers for the year. Since
sales figures fell below the 750000 copies needed to make the list that gave sales figures for cloth editions, the title was not listed on the sales figure chart.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Transcription of advertisement for Truxton King
WHAT'S SELLING?/ TRUXTON/ KING/ A Story of Graustark/ by/ GEORGE BARR/ McCUTCHEON/ IS SELLING/ In one morning's mail,/ this week, re-orders for/ TRUXTON KING/ amounted to/ 2728 copies/ copyright, 1909, by Dodd, Mead, & Co./ DODD, MEAD, & COMPANY, NEW YORK/ THE BOOKMAN, A Magazine THE NEW INTERNATIONAL/ of Literature and Life ENCYCLOPAEDIA
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
A21019990412134822.jpg
11 Other promotion
The advertisements that I found in Publisher's Weekly did not give me a good idea about where else Truxton King would have been advertised. The adds I found only described why it is such a
good book to read.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
I found that a play was made based on Truxton King based on the record of a playbook I found in NYPL Research Libraries Dictionary Catalog through 1971. The publication listed the playbook as having been published in 1912 by Rumsey P
lay Company. It lists the publication as having one volume with various pagings and measuring 29 cm in height. It also has the statement with the record that this playbook is suggested by George Barr McCutcheon's story of the same name.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
N/A
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N
/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
The author of my best seller, George Barr McCutcheon was born July 26, 1866 on a farm in the near Layfayette, IN. Since his parents John Barr and Clara McCutcheon lived in Indiana he belonged to the "Hoosier Sc
hool" of writers. Mr McCutcheon was friends with writers George Ade and Booth Tarkington, also his brother John was a cartoonist. The McCutcheons moved to Lafayette in 1876 when John Barr McCutcheon became a banker and politician in the town. Eventuall
y, John Barr McCutcheon became the sheriff and county treasurer. When he was little, George liked to write stories that were similar to popular novels and plays of the time. At the age of nineteen, George got a story accepted by "Waverly Magazine", and
two years later this story was published. He want to college at Purdue University, but after a year want off to join a theater troup. However after he got stranded and had to walk home he returned to college. Mr. McCutcheon became a reporter in 1889 fo
r the Lafayette "Journal" because he did not and to become a professional writer. He was working as editor for the Lafayette "Courier" by 1893, but he did not enjoy working for a newspaper. After publishing his second novel he resigned from his full time position but continued to work partime at t
he newspaper until he moved to Chicago in 1905. Mr. McCutheon's first novel "Graustark" was the most popular of his novels and he sold it to the publisher for $500. The popularity of this novels produced half a million dollars of revenue for the publish
ers and later this novel was made into a play that also was equally successful. McCutcheon received substantially royalities from the publisher on reprint editions of the title. This novel described a romantic tale set in an imaginary Balkan kingdom, wh
ich was interesting because McCutcheon never had been to Europe. Other novels he wrote inclued "Brewsters Millions" which he published under a pseudonym as part of a bet, and "Sherrods" published at the same time using his real name. He won the bet beca
use "Brewster's Millions" outsold "Sherrods". His favorite novel was "Mary Midthorne" which was his favorite because it was a realistic story about his native Indiana. Mr. McCutcheon's family consisted of his wife, Marie (Van Antwerp) Fay, a widow, and he
r son from her first marriage. Mr. McCutcheon adopted his wife's son as his own after he married Ms. Fay. During his life, McCutcheon was involved in professional organizations, including the Authors League, in which he served as president from 1924-19
26. During the last year a half of his life McCutcheon suffered from heart disease. He died of a heart attack on October 23, 1928 at a luncheon of the Dutch Treat Club in New York. Over the course of his life, Mr. McCutcheon's novels sold a total of f
ive million copies in addition to the long runs on the plays he produced. He stated that there was a lack of romance in modern life and was glade many of his novels had romance as the main theme. His novels included: "Graustark" (1901), "Beverly of Grau
stark" (1904), "Prince of Graustark" (1914), as well as my bestseller "Truxton King" (1909). These novels made Mr. McCutcheon an authority on the Balkans even though he never visited them first hand.
Sources:
1)Hart, James D. Oxford Companion to American Literature, 6th edition New York: Oxford University Press, pages 399-400; 1995.
2)Kunitz, Stanley J. and Haycraft, Howard Twentieth Century Authors: A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Literature; New York: H. W. Wilson Company, pages 869-870; 1942.
3)Perkins, George; Perkins, Barbara; and Leininger, Phillip Benet's Readers Encyclopedia of American Literature; New York: Harper Collins Publishers, page 655; 1991.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
I used several sources to look for book reviews on the contemporary reception history of George Barr McCutcheon's, Truxton King. The sources I used were Book Review Digest (1909) and National Library Service Cumu
lative Book Review Index 1905-1974. When I looked up Truxton King in the National Library Service Cumulative Book Review Index 1905-1974, it listed the author and that the reviews could be found in the 1909 edition of Book Review Digest. I found three b
ook review citations when I looked in Book Review Digest. These three citations were from the New York Times, Lit D, and Outlook.
The excerpt from the NY Times Review is as follows: "Truxton King, big, handsome, good-natured and young, ranges over the face of the earth looking for romance and adventure and finding none, until at last he comes to the natural home of such things-Graus
tark. There he jumps over the palace wall and meets Prince Robin and first sets eyes on the heroine."
The excerpt from Lit D (39:636. O. 16, '09. 280 w.), goes as follows: "This most recent addition to the Graustark series will be welcomed by all those who have made the acquaintance of that stirring little principality."
The excerpt from Outlook (93:515. O 30, '09. 170 w.), is written: "Those who like exciting tales of intrigue adventure, and heroism of the Zenda school may look here for such a one, and not look in vain."
The positive description about the book in these three reviews suggest that initially, Truxton King did sell reasonable well as a best seller. These reviews were all dated fairly close to the publishing date, September 9, 1909; but when I looked for later
reviews, I did not find any. This suggests that Truxton King did not remain on the best seller list much past its publication date.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
I used several sources to look for book reviews on the contemporary reception history of George Barr McCutcheon's, Truxton King. The sources I used were Book Review Digest (1909) and National Library Service Cumu
lative Book Review Index 1905-1974. When I looked up Truxton King in the National Library Service Cumulative Book Review Index 1905-1974, it listed the author and that the reviews could be found in the 1909 edition of Book Review Digest. I found three b
ook review citations when I looked in Book Review Digest. These three citations were from the New York Times, Lit D, and Outlook.
The excerpt from the NY Times Review is as follows: "Truxton King, big, handsome, good-natured and young, ranges over the face of the earth looking for romance and adventure and finding none, until at last he comes to the natural home of such things-Graus
tark. There he jumps over the palace wall and meets Prince Robin and first sets eyes on the heroine."
The excerpt from Lit D (39:636. O. 16, '09. 280 w.), goes as follows: "This most recent addition to the Graustark series will be welcomed by all those who have made the acquaintance of that stirring little principality."
The excerpt from Outlook (93:515. O 30, '09. 170 w.), is written: "Those who like exciting tales of intrigue adventure, and heroism of the Zenda school may look here for such a one, and not look in vain."
The positive description about the book in these three reviews suggest that initially, Truxton King did sell reasonable well as a best seller. These reviews were all dated fairly close to the publishing date, September 9, 1909; but when I looked for later
reviews, I did not find any. This suggests that Truxton King did not remain on the best seller list much past its publication date.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
The topic of my critical analysis is the series of which George Barr McCutcheon's Truxton King is a part of. The series consists of a group of four novels about the mythical Balkan Kingdom, Graustark; entitled
Graustark, Beverly of Graustark, Truxton King, and the Prince of Graustark. The novels were all written by Mr. McCutcheon for the purpose of bringing romance back into the lives of the readers. The first novel in the series, Graustark was McCutcheon's
most successful title and it sold 1500000 copies (Tebbel, 1975, 232-233). The other novels in the series sold fewer copies but McCutcheon wrote them as a continuation of the story started with Graustark. Truxton King was the third novel in the series an
d it was published in 1909. During the course of my research, I learned about things such as the reception history of the title, McCutcheon's life, and how Truxton King was advertised as a continuation of the series.
The novels in the series except Graustark (published by Stone & Kimball) were published by Dodd, Mead, and Company. The reason for the publication of most of the Graustark series by this company was that after Stone & Kimball collapsed, McCutcheon forme
d a very close personal friendship with Frank Dodd, the company's president (Tebbel, 1975, 233) . The company was able to make millions of dollars of dollars off this friendship because it had the publishing rights to subsequent novels written by McCutc
heon. When Truxton King came out, Dodd, Mead, and Company used the fact that it was a continuation of the Graustark series to promote it as a best seller. Advertisements from the 1909 Publisher's weekly stated things such as "over a million people hav
e read Graustark, can you figure out a much better seller than another Graustark story, written with all Mr. McCutcheon's old time sparkle and vim?"(Publisher's Weekly, Sept 25, 1909, page 671). By promoting Truxton King as an exciting continuation of
the Graustark series, the publisher was ensuring that both the company and McCutcheon would continue to add to the monetary profits gained from the sale of the other titles in the series.
The concept of a title becoming part of a series often develops when publishers find themselves unexpectively successful with a book that was not originally intended to be part of a series. This happened in the case of Graustark selling a million and a
half copies and given the success of the first book, the author and publishers will naturally want to build on the success of the first book by producing continuations of the story line. Truxton King followed Beverly of Graustark as a continuation to th
e story started in Graustark. Series are also sometimes planned in advance because publishers can then publish more books which might otherwise fail (Unwin, 1926, 322). This fact follows the concept of the fact that readers respond to the idea of contin
uity. Publishers often include books in a series even if they don not quite fit into what the series is about because the intention on the part of the publisher is to give every title a better chance to sell. Publishers are in the business of making mon
ey off the books they sell so they often promote books as being part of a series to help ensure they sell better. Dodd, Mead and Company followed this policy when they promoted Truxton King as being a part of the Graustark series to help it sell better.
As a result of this promotion, the title did make #6 on the best seller list for 1909, but as I discovered during the course of my research not all best sellers last long on the market.
George Barr McCutcheon followed a specific style of writing when he wrote Truxton King and the other titles in the Graustark series. Mr. McCutcheon writes to entertain not only himself but also the readers who pick up one of his novels. He states that
as long as he is entertained during the course of writing a chapter, he is satisfied with his work. The plot of the story is the most important aspect of McCutcheon's writing style and the characters in the story are there to serve the plot (Writer, Nov
1908). His books are written to give him joy and provide relaxation to readers during the course of the time they are reading a McCutcheon novel. The fact that McCutcheon liked to travel a great deal also affected the way he wrote a novel. Before he s
tarted writing he had the title of the novel chosen and the characters belonging together from the beginning. Having the characters already well matched avoided plot-twisting that might have resulted if the characters became disassociated with each other
during the course of the story (Writer, Nov 1908). Truxton King and the other novels in the series played to the idea of romanticizing world travel to remote reaches of the Earth. In Truxton King the story describes how a young American gentleman from
New York travels around the world seeking romance. The young man does not find any romance until he reaches the Balkan Kingdom of Graustark, which is depicted as being the natural home of romance and adventure. McCutcheon wrote Truxton King and the othe
r books of the Graustark series for the purpose of providing romantic entertainment to readers. Some of the writing methods used by George Barr McCutcheon may have developed from his days as a newspaper writer in Lafayette Indiana (Kunitz, 1942, 869). A
s a newspaper writer, he had to develop a writing style that got the readers' attention because if his writing style did not get their attention, the newspaper would not sell as well. Writing attention getting newspaper articles was a good way for McCut
cheon to learn how to write to entertain readers and he carried this style over when he started writing novels full time. The overall purpose of George Barr McCutcheon's writing was to do a good job in producing a story so people will want to read the n
ovel. Although many of his books were highly successful his best known novels were the ones in the Graustark series that included Truxton King.
His novels were so popular that some of the stories were produced in other medians. One book that was not part of Graustark series, Brewster's Millions (1902), was made into a successful play by the company Winchell Smith (1906) and this story was film
ed a number of times. Truxton King also had a play book produced based on McCutcheon's story. The company, Rumsey Play Co., produced a play book in 1912 entitled "Truxton King" that was supported by McCutcheon's story of the same name. Some of McCutc
heon's other books were also serialized so that people could keep following the story line in the novel with new adventures for the characters. When novels are popular best sellers, the production of other formats based on the stories in the novels, als
o serves as a way for the author and original publisher to make more money. When the company that produced the play book based on Truxton King, they had to obtain permission from McCutcheon and Dodd, Mead and Company, to use the copyrighted material in t
he novel.
The Graustark series, including Truxton King, was produced to fill in the need for romance in the world that McCutcheon thought was needed. He had felt that society had lost the romantic feeling that was needed for life to be enjoyable. The success of
the Graustark series helped validate McCutcheon's idea that writing a series of novels based on romance and adventure in an exotic little kingdom had great appeal to readers who's lives more mundane. This appeal produced substantial revenues for both t
he author and publisher when Graustark sold 1500000 copies, Beverly of Graustark sold 315000 copies (Tebbel, 1975, 232-233) and Truxton King made #6 on the 1909 best seller list. Producing a series often appeals to readers because they like the idea of c
ontinuity in a story. This makes the market appeal for an individual novel greater if it is a continuation in a successful series as Truxton King was. The publisher used this appeal to advertise that Truxton King was a fabulous continuation of the Graus
tark series. Series publication history is one of the ways that the history of book publishing can be studied because of the appeal the production of a successful series has on the book selling market.
Bibliography
1. Tebbel, John. A History of Book Publishing in the United States: vol 2 the Expansion of an Industry, 1865-1919, New York: R. R. Bowker Co., 1975.
2. Unwin, Stanley. Truth About Publishing London: George Allen & Unwin LTD., 1926.
3. Publishers' Weekly, "Truxton King is Selling: this is the Story" No. 1965, Sept 25, 1909, page 671.
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