Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand




by Joseph Hergesheimer (1922)

found in Mabel Normand’s Library


Back in February 2013, eBay sold  “Mountian Blood” from Mabel Normand’s library, I mentioned that there was another Joseph Hergesheimer novel on her shelves, titled “Cytherea.”  And now Cytherea is for sale on eBay, it is a limited edition, only 270 were printed in 1922 by Knopf and Mabel Normand owed number 89.







FEB 18, 2013 BOOK SOLD


Another book from Mabel Normand’s library was just sold on Sunday evening…it is a relatively nice example as it not only had two pages signed by Mabel, her bookplate; it also included the author inscription to her, the title was “Mountain Blood.”  It sold for $567  

Marilyn Slater

Looking for Mabel

February 18, 2013


The Book - Mountain Blood


Joseph Hergesheimer


Joseph Hergesheimer autographed it in 1922; another of his book “Cytherea” was also part of her library.  Although his novels were very popularity in the 1920s written in what is referred to as the “aestheticism” style. At the height of popularity he was ranked with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis.  In the year he meet Mabel the Literary Digest poll of critics voted Hergesheimer the “most important American writer” working at the time. A writer “who understands women better than any writer alive” according to the Cosmopolitan.  The tastes of the public changed in the 30s and by the time he died in 1954 in Sea Isle City, NJ; few people knew his name or were reading his books.



The http://arthursbookshelf.com/western-bookshelf/hergesheimer/hergesheimer.html  website has many of his books’ complete text available for free downloads. 



The second book Mabel owned Cytherea; critics thought his aesthetics overwhelm other aspects, a thin plot; precious descriptions and underdeveloped characters. 


“Tolable David” (1921) was a well-received movie adapted from a short story, starring Richard Barthelmess.  There are other films made from novels and short stories Joe wrote, like: Java Head, 1923; The Bright Shawl, 1923; Wild Oranges, 1924; Cytherea, 1924. 

Joe made his first trip to California in 1922.  He was hoping to pick up material for several novels.  In interviews he stated that the Atlantic seaboard had too much tradition and the nation was too young for traditions. Joe was interested in meeting eccentrics in the territory west of the Mississippi.

He was born February 15, 1880 in Philadelphia and before he found his talent as a novelist, he had tried his luck as a painter and his writing reflects his painting word images.




Arthur’s Bookshelf

Cosmopolitan, 1929


Ironwood Daily Globe, Mich.; Feb 10, 1922- Discovering the West

Ogden Standard-Examiner; Feb 19, 1922 – Richard Barthelmass in “Tol’able David  

Wikipedia, Joseph Hergesheimer