Title Reviewed:
A Bibliography of Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946

Author Reviewed:
Dorothy Ritter Russo; Thelma L. Sullivan

Kenneth Roberts


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 219-220

Article Type:
Book Review

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A Bibliography of Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946. By Dorothy Ritter Russo and Thelma L. Sullivan. (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1949, pp. xix, 303. Illustrations, index, and frontispiece portrait of Booth Tarkington.)

Booth Tarkington was probably best known as a novelist. Two of his novels, The Magnificent Ambersons in 1918 and Alice Adams in 1921, won Pulitzer Prizes. After the publication of Presenting Lily Mars, he was awarded the Gold Medal for fiction in 1933 by the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Theatergoers, however, also remember him fondly as the author of The Man From Home, Clarence, The Intimate Strangers.

This bibliography is a revelation of the great extent of his writings, and the voluminousness of his deep and affectionate probing into and depiction of the American Scene.

In both plays and novels he was particularly concerned with human beings. His many friendships, among those in all walks of life, were attributed by Erwin Panofsky to his unique insight into human nature: "Instead of respecting a man because he understands his convictions," Panofsky wrote, "Booth Tarkington respects a conviction, no matter how different from his own, because he understands the man."

The volume, a handsome example of book-making, is divided into four sections. Under the heading of "First Editions" are listed books, ephemera, and contributions, all arranged in chronological order. These cover over two hundred pages.

The author stated that small space was given to the second section, "Reprint Editions," because so many of the various editions and reprints had been "briefly mentioned with the collations of their first editions."

In the third section are books, pamphlets, and leaflets about Tarkington arranged in alphabetical order by author. Periodicals also fall within this category.

The last section is devoted to periodicals and newspapers containing first appearances.

The book, excellently indexed, is a boon to the thousands of booklovers who already have collected and long will continue to collect Booth Tarkington's ever enjoyable works, from Monsieur Beaucaire and The Gentleman From Indiana to Kate Fennigate and Image of Josephine.

This is the third publication of the committee on bibliography of the Indiana Historical Society, made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and the close personal interest of Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., chairman of the committee, in the works of Booth Tarkington.

Kennebunkport, Maine Kenneth Roberts

Published by theĀ Indiana University Department of History.