Gentleman of FranceStanley John Weyman (1855-1928):
annotated bibliography

by Jessica Amanda Salmonson

   

Preface

Living in the United States, I have held more US first editions of Stanley Weyman than British. I've been adding to this bibliography information about the illustrated editions as this becomes known to me; but this is thus far incomplete. The bibliography will be fleshed out as more comes to me from finding more specimens, or from what collectors of Weyman can fill in for me -- I would welcome information based on books on your shelves!

This alphabetically arranged bibliography as it now stands should be a significant aid to anyone attempting to complete a set of Stanley Weyman's great swashbuckling romances. I've identified all 1st edition publishers & "1st thus" for new illustrations, & I am filling in other early edition publishers including pirates as the first year of their reissues become known to me. Abridged editions are cited as variant text editions or so you can avoid them.

   

THE ABBESS OF VLAYE, A Novel. Ln: Longmans Green, 1904, & NY: Longmans Green, 1904, both editions with frontispiece. Ln: Daily Mail Sixpenny Novels #68, 1909, illustrated by Cyrus Cuneo. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton Sixpenny novel, 1915.

Set in the south of France in 1589, Henry IV has achieved most of his aims & Vlaye is the last remaining center of peasant revolt. A love story combines with a Dumas-like action tale.


THE CASTLE INN: A Romance of the Time of George III.Ln: Innes, 1898. Ln: Smith Elder, 1898, frontispiece. NY: Longmans Green, 1898, six full page illustrations by the brilliant Walter Appleton Clark. NY: Fenno, 1899. Ln: Daily Mail Sixpenny Novels #49, 1908, illustrated by Cyrus Cuneo. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Murray [192-?-].

A pistols-&-swords swashbuckling romance of underworld life in jolly old England, when George III was young, "when sign-posts served also as gibbets, when travel was by coach & highwaymen were many, when men drank deep & played high," to quote a Detroit Free Press review. Among the most thrilling of his thrilling tales.


CHIPPINGE BOROUGH. A magnificent tale of 19th Century England during the tumultuous days of the Reform Bill. Ln: Smith & Elder, 1906, issued with the shorter title Chippinge & not illustrated. NY: McClure Phillips, 1906. Ln: Macmillan Colonial Library Edition, 1906, for distribution in India & the colonies. Ln: Nelson, 1907. Ln: Nelson, 1909. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Murray [192-?-]

The author's own favorite among his novels, so wouldn't you know it'd be scarcer than most. Set in England in the early 1830s it describes well the Reform period & the Bristol Riots.


COUNT HANNIBAL: A Romance of the Court of France. Ln: Smith & Elder, 1901, not illustrated. NY: Longmans Green, 1901 with frontispiece & ornamental cloth. Toronto: Macmillan, 1901 pictorial cloth. Ln: Macmillan Colonial Library Edition, 1901, for distribution in India & the colonies. Ln: Nelson, 1907. Ln: Daily Mail Sixpenny Novels #63, 1909, illustrated by Edmund J. Sullivan. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Newnes, 1914. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton Sixpenny novel, 1916. Ln: Nelson [192-?-]. Ln: Murray [192-?-].

Set chiefly in Paris at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572) under Charles IX, as was the subject also of his first novel The House of the Wolf. Baker in History in Fiction said of it, "Ingenius & exciting as a story . . . Count Hannibal is another of the somewhat unprepossessing heroes; his bravery & magnanimity are supposed to atone for his violence & passion in the estimation of his lady love -- & of the reader."


FOR THE CAUSE. Chicago: C. H. Sergel, 1897. Freeport, NJ: Books for Libraries Press, 1969. Rare collection containing:

"For the Cause" which is available as an e-text Here! also appears in In King's Highway which see.


FROM THE MEMOIRS OF A MINISTER OF FRANCE. NY: Longmans Green, 1893, ornamental cloth, 36 illustrations 15 of which are full page. Ln: Cassell, 1893 not illustrated. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1895 wraps. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911; Freeport, NJ: Books for Libraries Press, 1970. London : Bodley Head, 1974, adding a new introduction by Hugh Greene.

Collection of twelve short stories starring the Duc de Sully, Henry IV's great prime minister, & set chronologically during Henry's reign from the 1590s through his assassination in 1610. The stories are:

Excellent throughout, a few of which aspire to be mysteries a la Sherlock Holmes in a different sort of setting. The Oregonian said reading these tales was "to drink again at the pure spring of romance. Weyman has caught more of the inner spirit of 16th Century life than any romancer." This is a good candidate for True Masterpiece for the swashbuckler genre. "The Tennis Balls" is available as an e-text Here! including the illustrations for that tale.


A GENTLEMAN OF FRANCE: Being The Memoirs Of Gaston De Bonne, Sieur De Marsac. Ln: Longmans Green, 1893, his only triple-decker edition, not illustrated; & NY: Longmans Green, 1893, frontispiece & vignette by H. J. Ford who illustrated Lang's fairy books; ornamental cloth. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1894 double decker wraps. NY: Burt, 1908. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton Sixpenny novel, 1914. Ln: Newnes, 1914. Ln: Nelson, 1919. Ln: Murray [192-?-]. Ln: Harrap, 1925. Ln: Nelson, 1925. Ln: Longmans Green, 1948, abridged, illustrated by Douglas Relf. London: Bodley Head Bow Street Library, 1974, introduction by Hugh Greene.

This Dumas-esque swashbuckler was one of Robert Louis Stevenson's favorite novels. Set in medieval France of the late 1580s, it regards the fateful events that culminated in Henry of Navarre ascending the throne, during the War of the Three Henries. The titular "gentleman" is a Huguenot Breton, "one of Conde's veterans, whose poverty & shabby appearance are flouted by the courtiers; but in an important & delicate commission entrusted to him he acquits himself so valiantly, that he wins the love of his beautiful charge, a noble kinswoman of Turenne. Court life & warlike adventure are the staple of the book, which is an excellent one of its kind" [Baker History in Fiction]. The New York World called it "One of the best novels since 'Lorna Doone.'" It is indeed one of Weyman's finest tales & something of a partner to his best story collection From the Memoirs of a Minister of France, & set about the same time as The Abyss of Vlaye & most of the tales in his collection In Kings' Byways. Jonathan Nield declared it "Quite one of the best examples of this deservedly esteemed writer of historical fiction" [A Guide to the Best Historical Novels & Tales].


THE GREAT HOUSE, A Story of Quiet Times. Ln: Murray, 1919. NY: Longmans Green, 1919. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1922. No edition is illustrated. Scarce.

A costume drama set mainly in England of the 1840s. Contemporary critics generally noted how much time had passed since his previous novel. As the New York Times critic fairly noted, "This latest romance bears ample testimony that Mr. Weyman has lost none of his skill that has won so enviable a record of popularity for his former works." In great part about the politics of the era as surrounded the Corn Laws & their eventual repeal, it's well handled but just not the High Romance that Weyman fans love best.


HISTORICAL ROMANCES. NY: Longmans Green, 1933. Omnibus of:


HOUSE OF THE WOLF, A Romance. NY: Longmans Green, 1890 & Ln: Longmans Green, 1890. The US edition has a frontispiece & vignette by Charles Kerr which appears to have been lacking in the UK 1st edition (I'm uncertain) but was added to the London 1907 first pocket edition. Leipzig: Tanchnitz, 1890 wraps. Ln: Daily Mail Sixpenny Novels #42, 1908, illustrated by Edmund J. Sullivan. There are several US pirated editions including: Chicago: Henneberry, 189-?; NY: Ogilvie "Peerless Series #80," 1894; NY: Munro, 1895; Philadelphia: Altemus, 1897. Other early editions include: Ln: Smith Elder, 1911 wraps. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton Sixpenny novel, 1915. Ln: Murray, [192-?-]. Ln: Nelson, 1920. Ln: Longmans Green, 1920, abridged.

Weyman's first book, an important title for the genre, rather more gothic than his later books but no less swashbuckling. Set in Paris at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572), the New York Critic wrote of it, "It portrays that night of horror from a point entirely new." His later novel Count Hannibal regards the same massacre.


IN KINGS' BYWAYS. Ln: Smith & Elder, 1902, not illustrated. NY: Longmans Green, 1902, with sepia frontispiece by George Varian & pictorial boards (silhouette of hillside castle). Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Murray [192-?-].

Twelve short stories of old France, mostly set around the year 1600 give or take, chronicling the struggles of the League & the Huguenots, Cardinal Mazarin, the Duke of Guise, Henry of Navarre, & other historical figures. The collection is divided into three sections. Part One is seven exceptionally good historical tales:

of which "For the Cause," a tale of Henry of Navarre set in 1591, was declared by The New York World to be the best thing Weymen had yet written. "The King's Strategem" is set in the same environment. "Flore" is set in 1643 & regards Mazarin the successor to Cardinal Richelieu. "The House in the Wall" is set in Spanish Flanders in 1706.

Part II, The Diary of a Statesman consists of a long prefacing tale plus these three related episodes all dealing with Henri IV & his minister Sully:

This second episode appeared also as "Perilous Amour" in Stories by English Authors: France (NY: Scribners, 1902). The third episode also appeared as a separate small book, Snowball, which see alphabetically. Part Three, called King Terror set in the late 1700s Paris, has two tales:


THE KING'S STRATAGEM, & other stories. NY: H. M. Caldwell / A. E. Cluett, 1891; NY: Bruce & Platt, 1895. Inserted wood engraving plates in these three editions. NY: Street & Smith, 1899; Freeport, NJ: Books for Libraries Press, 1970. Scarce. Contains:

"The King's Strategem" is a superior historical. The other tales are modern, including criminist. The Bruce & Platt edition is an attractive little book that I have seen bound in pale brown cloth, pale green cloth, & pale grey cloth without indication of priority of state. The impossibly rare Caldwell, seen only in Kenneth Hillier's impressive Weyman collection, has a fabulously ornate floral binding, plus a frontispiece portrait of a young Stanley at his writing table lacking in the Bruce & Platt which instead uses the first story's illustration plate for the frontis. Interestingly the Bruce & Platt gives no evidence of not being the first edition & discovery of the even rarer earlier edition was somewhat a surprise.


LAID UP IN LAVENDER. NY: Longmans Green, 1907. Ln: Smith & Elder, 1907. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Murray, 1927. Editions are all not illustrated. The London first is appropriately in lavender cloth; the US first has an ornate binding. Scarce.

Twelve modern short stories including some that are criminist mysteries:


A LITTLE WIZARD. NY: Fenno, 1895. Pictorial cloth. Illustrated throughout.

One of Weyman's rare excursions into outright fantasy. Scarce. There are two very distinct states of the binding, one having the title "The" Little Wizard instead of "A" Little Wizard; assuming the error was later corrected the incorrect title must be the first state, but who knows.


THE LIVELY PEGGY. NY: Longmans Green, 1927; Ln: Murray, 1928. Ln: Author's Complete Editon, 1931. No edition is illustrated.

Napoleonic adventure of the high seas, Weyman's last book finished shortly before his death. The Spectator stood among those who praised it, but many critics were hard on it, lamenting that his early work was much better. Scarce.


THE LONG NIGHT. Ln: Longmans Green, 1903, not illustrated. NY: McClure Phillips, 1903. Only the US edition has 15 stunning action-oriented illustration plates by Solomon J. Solomon & pictorial cloth; the US 1st was also issued in a plainer maroon binding with simple ornamental device (still with the 15 illustrations within), likely a second-state binding though pehaps the pictorial binding was set up second.

A scarce, horrific supernatural adventure set in Switzerland early in the 1600s at the time when D'Aubigny attempted to take Geneva, disrupting a generally peaceful period. The treacherous syndic is bribed with the demonic Basterga's knowledge of the Elixer of Life. Nield in A Guide to the Best Historical Novels & Tales called it "excellent adventure."


MADAM CONSTANTIA: The Romance of a Prisoner of War in the Revolution. NY/Ln: Longmans Green, 1919. Written under the pseudonym Jefferson Carter, with the unusual setting (for Weyman) of South Carolina, 1775-1783.


"Magdalen college and James II A. D. 1687" in the anthology THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PAGEANT (Oxford: University of Oxford, 1907) edited by the cunsultative committee. Other contributors include Laurence Housman, Sir Arthur Quller-Couch, & others.


THE MAN IN BLACK. Ln: Cassell, 1894; NY: Longmans Green, 1901 these legal editions having twelve illustration plates by Wal & H. M. Paget. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1894 wraps. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Other early editions include NY: Neely, 1894?; NY: Optimus, n.d.; Chicago: Conkey, n.d.; Chicago: Homewood, n.d.; NY: Frank A. Munsey Red Seal Library, 1897 wraps; NY: Munro, 1900 wraps; NY: Lupton, n.d.; NY: Burt, n.d. [1902?]. The plethora of early publishers in the US came about because the book was widely pirated.

Set around 1637, with cameo appearances by Louis XIII & Richelieu. Jonathon Nield in his Guide to the Best Historical Novels & Tales called it "Extraordinarily interesting." A marginally supernatural ingredient offers intimations that the titular character could be the Devil, inducing Ev Bleiler to include it in his first version of the Supernatural Checklist, though he dropped it from the revised edition. An e-text is available Here! with illustrations.


Rotha

MY LADY ROTHA, A Romance of the Thirty Years' War. Ln: Innes, 1894 with eight illustrations decorative binding; Innes reissued the book in 1897 without illustrations. NY: Longmans Green, 1894, with eight illustrations & decorative binding. The plates are by John Williamson in both US & UK 1st editions. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1894 double-decker wraps. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911.

Set in 1632 during the Thirty Years War, a swashbuckling historical romance which was, like many by Weyman, categorized by contemporary critics as of the same level of excitement delivered by Scott & Dumas. The tale begins in Thuringia which suffers devastation & havoc when overrun by German mercenaries & plunderers.


THE NEW RECTOR. Ln: Smith Elder, 1891 double decker, 1895 one-volume edition. NY: Lovell Coryell, 1891. Ln: George Newnes, © 1891. NY: Grosset & Dunlap, © 1891. Not illustrated.

Rural domestic drama originally serialized in the Cornhill. The public did not demand many copies of his non-swashbucklers, resulting in this book's rarity.


OVINGTON'S BANK. Ln: Murray, 1922, full color frontispiece by C. L. Cary. NY: Longmans Green, 1922. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1924.

English rural tale of the early 1800s along the Welsh border shortly after the Napoleonic wars when England struggled back to its feet. Critic for the The Boston Evening Transcript was among those who declared it a "masterpiece" but the public liked it a bit less than tales that took place in the midst of action rather than the aftermath thereof. Like all of Weyman's final novels, a bit rarer than the early ones that sold many more copies.


QUEEN'S FOLLY. Ln: Murray, 1925; NY: Longmans Green, 1925. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1927. No edition is illustrated.

Weyman had become passe toward the end of his life & career, rendering his last works comparatively rare. It's set in the New Forest region of England, dealing mainly with the social life of the area before Trafalgar in 1805.


THE RED COCKADE, A Novel of the French Revolution. Ln: Longmans Green, 1895 & NY: Longmans Green, 1895, having 48 illustrations by R. Caton Woodville; ornamental cloth depicting a black sword & red cockade embossure. NY: Harper, 1896, same plates? Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton Sixpenny novel, 1914. Ln: Nelson, 1917. Ln: Murray [192-?-]. Ln: Nelson, 1928.

Dumas-like swashbuckling historical romance, set around 1789 in Cahors & Nimes, adventures of an aristocrat sympathetic to the cause of the people. The San Francisco Chronicle said this one "deserves a place among the best historical fiction of the latter part of this [the nineteenth] century." One of Weyman's finest.


SHREWSBURY, A Romance of the Time of William & Mary. Ln: Longmans Green, 1897, & NY: Longmans Green, 1897, ornamental cloth; & 24 illustrations by Claude A. Shepperson, extremely handsome period studies, in both US & UK firsts; decorative endpapers in UK 1st. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1898 wraps, two volumes. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Nelson, 1909. Ln: Nelson, 1918. Ln: Longmans Green, 1947 abridged.

Set in the 1680s & 1690s, but primarily in the middle of William III's reign during the Fenwick Conspiracy crowded with Jacobite intrigues. A review in the Chicago Tribune followed the usual pattern of comparing this favorably to the works of Scott & Dumas, "uniting the thrill of imagination with the dignity of real life." San Francisco Chronicle said, "The best thing in the book is the sketch of Furgusonk, the spy, & of the remarkable hold which he obtained over prominent men by means of his cunning & his malignancy. He dominates every scene in which he appears." It was one of his most popular titles.


SnowballTHE SNOWBALL. NY: Merriam, 1895. Merriam's Violet Series #6. A rare small book of some 65 pages. Illustration plates.

The tale opens in France in 1602. A rare book, but the story may also be found in his collection In Kings' Byeways under the title "Episode of the Snowfall."


SOPHIA: A Romance. Ln: Longmans Green, 1900, frontispiece; & NY: Longmans Green, 1900, with 12 full page illustrations by C. Hammond. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Nelson, 1923.

18th century London & Sussex, the period of the hoop, the patch, the coffeehouses & the sedan-chair. A contemporary critic wrote, "The gem of the book is its description of the long coach-ride made by Sophia to Sir Hervey's home in Sussex, the attempt made by highwaymen to rob her, & her adventures at the paved ford & in the house made silent by smallpox, where she took refuge." A fascinating counterpoint to Weyman's dandified-manly swashbucklers, this time really placing a woman center stage. Too bad it's one of his scarcer titles.


STARVECROW FARM: A Romance. Ln: Hutchinson, 1905; NY: Longmans Green, 1905. Decorative cloth on US edition; US & UK have 8 illustration plates by Cyrus Cuneo. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Murray [192-?-].

Set in rural Windermere & Kendal in England a few years after the battle of Waterloo. This action tale has more to do with its women characters than is the case with most of Weyman's novels. A girl elopes in order to escape an unwanted match, only to discover, after many thrilling adventures, that she had fled from a man she loved after all. A Guide to the Best Historical Novels & Tales declares it "decidedly thrilling."


THE STORY OF FRANCIS CLUDDE. Ln: Cassell, 1891; NY: Cassell, 1891; NY: Longmans Green, 1898; Ln: Methuen, 1898. There are four illustrations in the 1898 Longmans Green edition but none in the Cassells. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1894 double-decker wraps. Ln: Cassell Popular edition, 1908, in art nouveau binding; Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911.

Swashbuckling historical romance of England's Forest of Arden district & in the Netherlands & Rhenish Palatinate, in the days of Bloody Mary & the war with Spain, where knightly deeds abound. A somewhat scarce title.


THE TRAVELLER IN THE FUR CLOAK. Ln: Hutchinson, 1924 & NY: Longmans Green, 1924. Not illustrated. There is also a special Celtic edition transalted by Niall MacSuibhne as Taistealaidhe an chloca fionnaidth (Dublin, 1937).

An action thriller set in Napoleonic era Germany, about an Englishman on an important mission to Austria who loses & must regain his confidential dispatches. Rare.


Red Robe

UNDER THE RED ROBE: A Romance. Ln: Methuen, 1894 double-decker & NY: Longmans Green, 1894, with a dozen full page illustrations by R. Caton Woodville & ornamental cloth grace the US & UK firsts. Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1894 wraps. Ln: Daily Mail Sixpenny Novels #32, 1908, illustrated by Edmund J. Sullivan. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton Sixpenny novel, 1914. NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1923 Photoplay edition illustrated with film stills from the version directed by Alan Crosland & starring John Charles Thomas as Gil de Berault & Robert B. Mantell as Cardinal Richelieu. Ln: Murray, 1955, abridged, illustrated by Kenneth Ody. Ln: Collins, 1958 illustrated by Geoffrey Whittam, introduction by Mary A. Macrae. There is a special Celtic edition Faou'u roba dhearg (Dublin, 1937) translated by Proinnsias o BrogÏn.

Besides the 1923 film adaptation, an earlier silent version was done in 1915 & probably does not survive, & a fine talkie version was done in 1936 directed by Victor Sjostrom & starring Conrad Veidt as Gil de Berault & Raymond Massie as Cardinal Richelieu. It was dramatized for the stage in London, at the Haymarket, in 1896, & was produced as a New York musical in 1927.

Rightly noted as "The author at his best" in A Guide to the Best Histroical Novels & Tales. It is a Dumas-esque swashbuckler of 1630s France, which a critic at the New York World thought the equal of Ivanhoe. The "red robe" aludes to Richelieu. The hero, de Berault, is a gentleman rogue who falls afoul of Richelieu & is given a choice between the Bastille or being sent on a secret mission against the Hapsburgs. Being a rogue his dubious mission seems a good one at first, but he falls in love with the sister of the man he is sent to betray & soon redeems himself valiantly. A rousing tale set largely in Bearn, & one of Weyman's finest. The London 1st edition is rather rare but there are many later printings.


WHEN LOVE CALLS. Boston: Brown & Co., 1899. Rare collection containing:


THE WILD GEESE. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton, 1908; & NY: Doubleday, Page, 1909 with four full page illustration plates by W. H. Martetson; US edition with shamrock-embossed cloth. Ln: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910, not illustrated within, but pictorial cloth. Ln: Author's Complete Edition, 1911. Ln: Nelson, 1924. There is also a special Celtic edition entitled Na g'acha findhaine (Dublin, 1935) translated by Sean Og MacMaolÏn.

An Eighteenth century Irish romance of sea & land, time of George I. Though it is a marvelous heroic tale, it was not one of his best sellers, hence is now moderately hard to find.

See also
Stanley Weyman, Greatest of the Yellow Nineties Swashbuckling Romancers
for my biographical overview of this author.

Thanks are extended to Weyman collectors Kenneth Hillier in England & Donna Rudin in the US for additions & corrections. Donna maintains the Weyman Forever Website with much excellent material on this great writer.




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