Stewart, Jimmy: Jimmy Stewart and His Poems
(researched by Daniel Goff)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

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

Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart and His Poems. 201 East 50th Street, New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1989. Text copyright 1989 by James M. Stewart. Illustrations copyright 1989 by Cheryl Gross.

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

The first American edition is published in trade cloth binding.

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

4 Pagination

16 leaves. 32 pages. Pp. 4, 14-15, 18, 20-21, 28-29, 31-32 not numbered.

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

Pp. 5-6, 12, 16, 24-26 all contain informal introductions to the various poems, both the poems and their introductions written by Stewart. The book does not contain a dedication.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

There are illustrations inserted directly into the book by Cheryl Gross. These are found on [3] (a miniature version of the illustration on the dust cover), 8-9 (fish jumping in a stream with a sign reading "Argentina"), 10-11 (a man carrying suitcases and fishing gear ascending a stylized staircase), [14-15] (a silhouette of a man in a frozen tent thinking of playing golf in a tropical setting), [18] (a video camera in a gift box), [20-21] (what is presumably a leopard approaching the same camera lying abandoned in a sahara landscape), [28-29] (a partially hidden woman walking a dog), [31] (a dog and boy laying in bed), [32] (full-page illustration of the dog laying behind a food dish labeled "Beau").

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 two-page title spread [2-3] features the book's title in large, light-blue font, and a miniaturized version of the cover caricature as referenced in #6. The titles of each poem are written in the same light-blue font, and in larger font than that of the poem. Both the first letters of the poems and the first letters of Stewart's introductions are written in a similar, large, light-blue font. The illustrations within the book are colored with a similar light-blue wash.

The typeface is serif. 266.7 R. The book is 381MMx152.4MM.

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 is smooth and white, appearing to be of a heavier stock. It is in excellent condition. There are no visible chainlines or wiremarks.

11 Description of binding(s)

The pages are glued in.

The cloth of the cover is of a reddish-brown hue, while the endpapers are light blue and have a marbled appearance. The print on the cloth is a light blue similar to the shade found in the text of the pages and of the illustrations. There is what is presumably Stewart's signature embossed in this blue on the cloth cover, while the spine contains the same text as the spine of the jacket, except that all of this text is light blue. In the back right corner is an ISBN number in the same light blue.

12 Transcription of title page

Jimmy Stewart and His Poems / by Jimmy Stewart / Illustrations by Cheryl Gross / Crown Publishers, Inc. / New York.

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings


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

The dust jacket is made of paper with a glossy coating. On the cover of the dust jacket is a stylized caricature of the author, sitting in a green armchair next to his sleeping dog Beau (whose name is implied by a labeled food dish). The illustration appears to be done in pen and colored pencil. On the general upper left side of the cover is the title, written in maroon, and across the bottom of the cover is the author's name. On the back cover of the dust jacket, there is a black-and-white photograph of the author framed in maroon trim, with an identical drawing of Beau in the lower left corner. The spine of the dust jacket reads: JIMMY STEWART AND HIS POEMS/BY JIMMY STEWART/CROWN. The slashes denote spaces. The first two portions are written in the same shade of maroon, while "CROWN"" is written in black.

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

After conducting research on AbeBooks and WorldCat, it appears as though my copy of Jimmy Stewart and His Poems is a first edition, but not a first printing. My copy appears to be a first edition, fifth printing, which, judging from the stock found on AbeBooks, is the first printing which features a caricature of Stewart on the dust jacket rather than the original cover. The original cover features a photograph of Stewart smiling and facing the camera, on a tan background, with the title and author in maroon and black font.

Crown Publishing published a third edition (see #5 for the second edition) in 1997. Judging from the photos provided, this edition was not distinguishable from the first edition, fifth printing cover (featuring Stewart's caricature).

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?

My research on this component of the assignment has still proved inconclusive. Worldcat did not provide the information I needed. The best source I have found so far is AbeBooks, which, judging from the available stock of this book, suggests that there are at most ten printings of the first edition.

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

From what I could find on AbeBooks, the first edition was followed by an audiobook format published by Random House Audiobooks in 1990. This consisted of one 30-minute casette, recorded in the author's voice.

I also found evidence of an edition published by Random House Value Publishing. According to AbeBooks, this published company published a second edition of Jimmy Stewart and His Poems in 1995.

6 Last date in print?

AbeBooks indicates that the last date this book was in print was in 1997.

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

This was not available information in Publisher's Weekly. I was able to find, however, that Jimmy Stewart and His Poems was on the bestseller list for 16 weeks, from September 29, 1989 to January 19, 1990.

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


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


10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

On July 28, 1981, Jimmy Stewart read "I'll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau" on the Johnny Carson show, a form of one of the works featured in Jimmy Stewart and His Poems. As this aired eight years before the book's publication, I don't know if this could be considered promotion, but it is a widely-known video closely related to the book.

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


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


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)

James Maitland Stewart, known popularly as Jimmy Stewart, was born May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He was the only son of Alexander and Elizabeth Stewart, the former of whom supported the family by owning and operating a local hardware store. Virginia and Mary, Stewart’s younger sisters, would join the family by the time Stewart was five.

Stewart first expressed interest in drama while attending Mercersburg Academy, a prep school approximately 100 miles from his hometown. It was here that he performed in a production of “The Wolves.” While attending the academy, Stewart was also involved in football and track, and also devoted free time to musical hobbies.

After graduation from Mercersburg, Stewart enrolled at Princeton Academy, his father’s alma mater. He decided to major in architecture. He also became involved in Princeton’s drama club, where he met other future film and drama stars such as Joshua Logan, an eventual director of Broadway hits, and actor Henry Fonda. After Stewart graduated, Logan offered him a role in the University Players’ production of “Goodbye Again,” which Stewart accepted. This was his first professional acting role, and it marked a career shift for him.

I have found discrepancies in sources over which movie was Stewart’s first acting role—either “Art Trouble” (1934) or “The Murder Man” (1935). Based on the available records, it seems most likely that “Art Trouble” was his first screen role, albeit a small one. Stewart’s role in “The Murder Man” was also small, but 1935 would prove to be an important year for his career. His first major role came in October 1935 with “Next Time We Love,” and fame was soon to follow. From 1935 to 1940, Stewart was featured in dozens of films, many times as the starring role. During this period, he starred in the notable film “The Philadelphia Story” (1940).

In 1941, Stewart enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII. This initially entailed hosting radio programs for the war effort, but eventually Stewart flew missions as well—20 in all. After returning to America, he moved in with Fonda and his family.

In 1945, Stewart landed his most iconic role of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Two years later, he met Gloria McLean, a divorcee with two sons, at a dinner party. They began dating and married in 1949. In 1951, Stewart and McLean had twin daughters Judy and Kelly.

Stewart’s acting career continued to thrive in the 1950s, with many notable starring roles. Perhaps the most famous of these were the three Alfred Hitchcock-directed movies in which Stewart starred—“Rear Window” (1954), “Vertigo” (1958), and “North by Northwest” (1959).

“Jimmy Stewart and His Poems” was published in 1989, a period in which Stewart’s acting career was mostly in the past. He had appeared on Johnny Carson to read one of the featured poems eight years earlier. It was a best-seller for 16 weeks.

On July 2, 1997, Stewart died of heart failure due to a blood clot.

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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