Introduction | Early Writings | First Novels | The Yealing, 1983 | Following Up Success | Cross Creek, 1942 | After Cross Creek | Later Writings | Some Posthumous Publications | References

First Novels

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

First Novel: South Moon Under (1933)
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,south under moon 1933
South Moon Under.

New York, London: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933.  In jacket.  Tarr A 1.

Buoyed by the success of her first Florida stories, Rawlings explored further into the central Florida Big Scrub for her first full-length novel, about a moonshiner facing betrayal.  While the initial printing for Scribner’s was to be just under 2500 copies, in January 1933, Maxwell Perkins wrote to tell her that it had been chosen by the Book of the Month Club as its March Selection, which meant a further printing of 40,000.   Before publication a Florida librarian who had got advance proofs questioned Rawlings’s description of a giant alligator as thirty feet in length, and second and subsequent printings change this to twenty feet.  Shown here with the  first printing are copies of two later printings, showing the dust jacket description of the book and the unevenness in the change in the stereotype plates on p. 184.

south under moon: the armed services edition

South Moon Under: the Armed Services Edition
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
South Moon Under.
ASE 724.  New York: Editions for the Armed Services, 1945.  Original wrappers. 

The 1323 titles issued as Armed Services Editions during World War II were sent free in monthly boxes to U.S. units serving overseas.  South Moon Under was the last of three Rawlings titles to be included in the series, alongside works by Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Wolfe, and Faulkner.   The over 13 million books distributed constitute the biggest, and most influential, book giveaway in history.   In addition to copies of individual titles in author collections, Thomas Cooper Library is nearing completion on building a complete set of the series, in the Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection.

South Moon Under as an early Bantam paperback
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,south moon under 
South Moon Under.

New York: Bantam Books.  Bantam Books, no. 10.  Original wrappers.

When World War II broke out, the first Pocket Books had only recently entered the American market.  This edition of Rawlings’s first novel, published in November 1945, was one of the first paperbacks after the War ended.  As therear cover indicates, the mass-market paperback was still new enough to need explanation to potential customers.

scribner's magazine 1933The Journey Down the St. John River
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
“Hyacinth Drift,”
Scribner’s Magazine 
(September 1933): 169-173.

One of Rawlings’s most extraordinary, and lastingly-influential, exploits in the mid-1930's was this boat journey, undertaken in the wake of her divorce with one woman companion, traveling several hundred miles through central Florida in an eighteen-foot open boat with a small outboard motor.  

Rawlings Writes a Blurb for F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald,
Tender Is the Nighttender is the night

New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1934.  In Jacket.   Seventh printing.  
Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This dust jacket blurb is interesting evidence, not only of Rawlings’s emerging status as an author in the mid 1930's, but also of Maxwell Perkins’s skill in presenting his authors as a recognizable constellation of high literary quality.

golden apples advance proofs

Advance Proofs of Rawlings’s Second Novel
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
Golden Apples.
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1935. Advance copy in original wrappers.

This is one of only two known examples of the advance copy of Rawlings’s second novel, bound sheets in orange printed wrappers intended for reviewers or promotion.  

The First Edition of Golden Apples (1935) golden apples 1935
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
Golden Apples.
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1935. In dust jacket.  Tarr A 2.

Rawlings’s second novel, published in October 1935 and again set in the Florida Scrub, centered on interclass love and sexual betrayal.   It sold respectably on publication (two printings, totalling 11,000 copies), but it was not until 1944, after the success of Cross Creek, that any further edition was called for.



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