Morley, Christopher: Kitty Foyle
(researched by Kaitlyn Bryan)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Christopher Morley. Kitty Foyle. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1939.

Copyright: Christopher Morley, 1939.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

First edition published in trade cloth binding.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

170 leaves, pp. [1-8] 9-17 [18] 19-26 [27] 28-34 [35] 36-41 [42] 43-50 [51] 52-60 [61] 62-70 [71] 72-81 [82] 83-91 [92] 93-108 [109] 110-118 [119] 120-126 [127] 128-132 [133] 134-147 [148] 149-158 [159] 160-165 [166] 167-171 [172] 173-183 [184] 185-191 [192] 193-208 [209] 210-220 [221] 222-230 [231] 232-241 [242] 243-256 [257] 258-265 [266] 267-274 [275] 276-282 [283] 284-297 [298] 299-315 [316] 317-326 [327] 328-339 [340]

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

The first edition is neither edited nor introduced. The back outside dust cover includes an advertisement for other books by Christopher Morley that are published by J.B. Lippincott Company.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

No illustrations.

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 physical presentation of the text is attractive and readable. The typography is roman and the text is clearly printed, without smudges. 20 lines of text measures 226 millimeters. Capital letters are 3 millimeters tall, lower case letters are 2 millimeters tall, and spaces between lines are 3 millimeters. The margins are considerably large, and thus the pages are not overcrowded. The bottom margin is the largest, measuring 43 millimeters. The dust jacket is a bit torn on the spine and corners, but overall is in good condition. There is artwork on the dust jack depicting a green knit-textured background that fades into a lighter green toward the spine. The title looks to be a photograph of the words “Kitty Foyle” spelled out in white ribbon.

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 first edition uses thick, white, wove paper. The vertical edges of the papers are uneven, as if once perforated and torn apart. The very first and very last pages are of a different type of paper than the rest of the pages. It is yellow and all the sides of each page are smooth. The pages are in good quality and the book has been well preserved.

11 Description of binding(s)

Front and back covers are greenish cloth. Front cover is labeled with “KF” in white cloth. Spine is green cloth, labeled with author’s name on the top, title in middle, and publisher’s name at the bottom, all in white cloth. Text is vertical.

12 Transcription of title page

Recto: Christopher Morley | Kitty Foyle | J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia New York Toronto

Verso: Copyright, 1939, By Christopher Morley, First Edition, Printed in the United States of America

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

The manuscripts of Christopher Morley can be found at Stony Brook University, Syracuse University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Virginia.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

A bookplate is pasted on the inside of the front cover of the book. It is rectangular in shape and depicts a man and a woman sitting in rocking chairs on either side of a small table. The image marks the book as a gift to the Special Collections Library by the family of Mr. Robert Coleman Taylor and Mrs. Lillian Gary Taylor as part of the Taylor Collection of American Best-Sellers.

The call number of this book in the Special Collections Library is Taylor 1939 .M67 K5.

The originals of all digital images included are housed in: Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4110. No further copies can be made.

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


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?

As of February 20, 2018, it is unclear exactly how many printings or impressions J.B. Lippincott issued of the first edition. According to an article published in Publisher’s Weekly, 100,000 copies of the book’s first edition had been printed and sold by February 1940. Additional Publisher’s Weekly advertisements from December 23, 1939 and April 6, 1940 reveal that Kitty Foyle was about to enter its ninth and 15th printings, respectively.

The book remained on Publishers’ Weekly’s bestseller lists for at least 9 months (November 1939 - July 1940), as well as appeared on Hackett’s Bestseller list in 1939 and 1940. Because of its popularity during 1939 and the early 1940s, it is likely that additional printings or impressions exist. The exact number is unknown.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

As of February 20, 2018, there are a number of editions published by companies other than J.B. Lippincott. They include Editions for the Armed Services (1945), The Continental Book Company in Stockholm, London (1945) and Penguin Books (1945).

6 Last date in print?

As of February 20, 2018, Kitty Foyle is not in print. Books in Print indicated that Kitty Foyle was still in print as of 1993. New copies of the book can be found on Amazon from individual sellers.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

According to Publishers’ Weekly, J.B. Lippincott reported that it sold 100,00 copies by February 17, 1940 and continued issuing additional subsequent printings. As of February 20, 2018, more conclusive or exact accounts of the total copies sold are unknown.

Searches in Bowker’s Annual, Hackett’s 80 Years of Best Sellers, Mott’s Golden Multitudes, and Tebbel’s A History of American Publishing and were inconclusive.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

An advertisement in Publishers’ Weekly states that on February 17, 1940, Kitty Foyle had sold 100,000 copies. As of February 20, 2018, no further sales figures by year have been found.

Searches in Bowker’s Annual, Hackett’s 80 Years of Best Sellers, Mott’s Golden Multitudes, and Tebbel’s A History of American Publishing and were inconclusive.

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

Advertisements for Kitty Foyle were found in the 1939 and 1940 volumes of Publishers’ Weekly.

An advertisement published within the first few weeks of book’s publication is black-and-white and depicts a stack of papers with writing on them. The writing says: “MEMO No. 1 To America’s Booksellers: Advance Sale 25,754 copies, First Week of Publication 4,679 copies – and now selling at the rate of over 1,500 copies a day!” Above the image of papers the advertisement reads: “The Natural History of a ‘Natural.’” Below the image is written: “KITTY FOYLE: The Natural History of A Woman, By Christopher Morley.” At the very bottom of the page is a blurb for the publishers: “250 Park Ave. New York, J.B. Lippincott Company Washington Square, Philadelphia, 215 Victoria St. Toronto.”

A similar black-and-white advertisement was published during the week of November 25, 1939. It depicts a similar stack of papers, but enumerates different statistics. It reads: “MEMO No. 2 To America’s Booksellers: First Week of Publication 4,679 copies, Second Week of Publication 7,063 copies – and now selling at the rate of over 2,000 copies a day!” The writing above and below the image of papers is the same as in the previously transcribed advertisement.

Another black-and-white advertisement for J.B. Lippincott is published during the week of December 23, 1939 featuring Kitty Foyle (pictured in Question 10). This advertisement is especially important because it is published just before the portion of J.B. Lippincott’s advertising campaign designed to carry Kitty Foyle’s popularity into the New Year. It contains an image of the book’s cover, followed by the following print: “(UNFINISHED BUSINESS) As the year ends, KITTY FOYLE has reached the No. 1 fiction best-seller position in practically every large city in the United States – and sales are still climbing! We have therefore appropriated another $5,000 to help you sell more copies of KITTY FOYLE in January and February. SPECIAL NOTE: Check your stock of KITTY FOYLE today, and get your orders in early in order to reap the full profits of the new nation-wide KITTY FOYLE campaign that begins this week. Ninth large printing is about to go to the press.”

An additional advertisement for Kitty Foyle appears in Publishers’ Weekly’s first publication in January 1940. It contains a black-and-white image of the book’s cover surrounded by decorative stripes and text. The top of the page says “The Publishers’ Weekly: The American Book Trade Journal.” In the bottom right corner is a textbook proclaiming, “It is going to be the most talked about book of the year.” A banner across the bottom of the page says, “To be Published October 26th at $2.50, J.B. Lippincott Company.”

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

Kitty Foyle’s success as a bestseller has been largely attributed to J.B. Lippincott’s advertising campaign. J.B. Lippincott’s advertising manager, Frank Frazier, spearheaded the campaign, with assistance from advertising agent James E. Schwenk and author Christopher Morley. J.B. Lippincott allocated a high initial budget for the campaign, starting with $10,000 to plan and execute the initial two months of advertising, then allocating an additional $5,000 to push the campaign through the New Year.

The campaign itself focused on engaging salespeople and appealing to a female audience. Frazier and J. B. Lippincott systematically communicated the advertising plan to all salespeople so that booksellers across the country could execute the same marketing techniques. J.B. Lippincott identified a female audience as its principal target, as they believed women would be most interested in reading a story about an independent, progressive, female protagonist. To do this, they attempted to override the male author’s voice with the persona of Kitty Foyle’s and strategically avoided mentioning the (male) author’s name in advertisements.

In fall 1939, Publishers’ Weekly awarded the advertising campaign with the First Honorable Mention for Best Book.

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

On December 27, 1940, Kitty Foyle was released as a film, starring Ginger Rogers as Kitty Foyle, Dennis Morgan as Wyn Strafford and James Craig as Mark Eisen. The film was directed by Sam Wood and produced by Harry E. Edington and David Hempstead. Ginger Rogers won the Academy award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Kitty Foyle.

In January 1958, Henry Jaffe Enterprises, Inc. and National Broadcasting Company produced Kitty Foyle produced as a black and white television series.

Kitty Foyle has also made into a short-lived radio series and various screenplays. 

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

This book was translated into many different languages and reprinted by many different publishing companies.

Morley, Christopher. Kitty. Translated by Klaus Lambrecht, Konstanz: Diana, 1961. [Translated to German.]

Morley, Christopher. Kitty. Zürich: Humanitas-Verl., 1941. [Translated to German.]

Morley, Christopher. Ktity Foyle. Mexico City: Ediciones Atlantida, 1941. [Translated to Spanish.]

Morley, Christopher.  Kitty Foyle. Translated by Frans G. Bengtsson, Stockhold: Medén, 1940. [Translated to Sewdish.]

Morley, Christopher. Kitty Foyle. Translated by Giorgio Monicelli, A. Mondadori, 1946. [Translated to Italian.]

Morley, Christopher.  Kitty Foyle. Translated by Hans Heiberg, Oslo, 1941. [Translated to Norwegian.]

Morley, Christopher. Kitty Foyle. Translated by JNC van Dietsch, Leiden: Sijthoff, 1940. [Translated to Dutch.]

Morley, Christopher.  Kitty Foyle. Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Ercilla, 1941. [Translated to Spanish.]

Morley, Christopher.  Kitty Foyle. Stockhold: Medén, 1962. [Translated to Danish.]

Christopher Morley. Sle─Źna Kitty. Translated by Vojtêch Kubašta and Hedvika Kellerová, Praha: Aventium, 1947. [Translated to Czech.]

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A


15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A


Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Best-selling author Christopher Morley was born on May 5, 1890 in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He was the eldest of three American-born children to two Quaker English immigrants, Frank Morley Sr. and Lilian Bird. The couple met in England while Frank was studying at Bath College and Lilian was traveling in Europe. In 1887, Frank accepted a position as a Mathematics professor at Haverford College, and the couple moved to Haverford, Pennsylvania. Despite his parents’ Quaker background, Christopher Morley was baptized in the Episcopal Church. He had two younger brothers, Felix (born in 1894) and Frank (born in 1899). In 1900, when Christopher Morley was ten years old, Frank Sr. accepted a position teaching Mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, prompting the family to relocate to Baltimore, Maryland. Christopher Morley’s passion for writing developed as a student at the Jefferson School in Baltimore; he began his first novel, which was never completed, in 1992. The manuscripts can still be found today in the Morley Alcove of Haverford Library.

Christopher Morley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College in 1910. He graduated as one of four Phi Beta Kappas in his class and delivered the Valedictorian speech at his graduation ceremony. After graduating, he moved to England to study Modern History as a Rhodes Scholar at New College, Oxford. While studying at New College, he met Helen Booth Fairfield, whom he married on June 3, 1914. Together they had four children: Christopher, Louise, Helen, and Blythe. Upon graduation from New College in 1913, he decided to enter the publishing business, and accepted an editorial job in New York for Doubleday, Page & Company. Throughout the next 30 years, he assumed a variety of jobs in the publishing industry, working as an editor for the Ladies’ Home Journal (1917-1918), a columnist for the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger in Pennsylvania (1918-1920), a columnist for the New York Evening Post (1920-1924), a contributing editor for the Saturday Review of Literature (1924-1941), a judge and Editorial Board member for the Book of the Month Club (1926-1954), and an editor of two editions of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (1937, 1948). He founded the Baker Street Irregulars (1934) and was a founder and editor of the Saturday Review of Literature (1924-1941).

Over the course of his life, Christopher Morley published over 50 novels, essays, poems, and plays. His first publication, a collection of poems titled The Eighth Sin, was published by Simpkin, Marshall & Company on November 20, 1912, when he was 22 years old. His most famous novels include Parnassus on Wheels (1917), its sequel The Haunted Bookshop (1919), Where the Blue Begins (1922), Thunder on the Left (1925), all published by his former employer, Doubleday, Page & Co., and best-seller Kitty Foyle (1939, J.B. Lippincott & Co.). He also wrote an autobiography titled John Mistletoe (1931, Doubleday, Doran & Co.) and published his final novel, The Man Who Made Friends With Himself, with Doubleday & Company, Inc. in 1949. Christopher Morley wrote very popular essay collections, the most notable being Shandygaff (1918) and Tales from a Rolling Desk (1921), both published by Doubleday, Page & Co. Especially during his early years, he harbored a special interest in poetry writing; in addition to The Eighth Sin, his most famous poetry publication was a book of free verse poetry titled Old Mandarin (1947), published by Harcourt, Brace & Co. Finally, his interest in drama led him to write many short plays, in addition to founding the Hoboken Theatrical Company with his colleague Cleon Throckmorton in 1928, where they produced revival theatrical productions. No information from this original research project could be found on Christopher Morley’s agents or editors.

Christopher Morley’s health deteriorated in the final years of his life. He had a stroke in April of 1951 that left him paralyzed, followed by two subsequent strokes over the next six years. He passed away on March 28, 1957 at age 66 in Roslyn Heights, New York. He is buried in Roslyn Cemetery and was survived by his wife, four children, and two brothers.

Sources Consulted:

Browning, David Clayton, and John William Cousin. Everyman's Dictionary of Literary Biography, English & American. Rev. ed. (with suppl.), Dent, 1969.

Oakley, Helen McKelvey. Three Hours for Lunch: The Life and Times of Christopher Morley; A Biography. Watermill Publishers, 1976.

Perkins, George B., et al. "Morley, Christopher (Darlington) (1890-1957)." Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature, vol. 1, HarperCollins, 1991, p. 731. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 11 Mar. 2018.

Wallach, Mark I. "Christopher (Darlington) Morley." American Novelists, 1910-1945, edited by James J. Martine, Gale, 1981. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 9. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 11 Mar. 2018.Christopher Morley, 66, Dies; Wrote 'Kitty Foyle'." Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File), Mar 29, 1957, pp. 2, ProQuest.

"Christopher (Darlington) Morley." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 11 Mar. 2018.

"Morley, Christopher (Darlington)." Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature, Merriam-Webster, 1995. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 11 Mar. 2018.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

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