IF I WERE KING

McCarthy, Justin Huntly (1860-1936)

Published by Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1901
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Granny Artemis Antiquarian Books (Bremerton, WA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: Grosset & Dunlap, First Thus [1926]. Hardcover, mildly scuffed with a bit of foxing, else About Very Good pictorial boards. Semi-Photoplay Edition illustrated throughout with photographic plates from the 1925 operetta The Vagabond King. The date does not appear in this volume so it has been confused for the 1929 reprint with no pictorial binding. The photos show Caroline Thomson and Dennis King in the 1925 operetta, but a dustwrapper added in 1930 misleadingly mentions the 1930 film. Justin Huntly McCarthy's 1901 play and novel If I Were King, a swashbuckling adventure, featured poet, scholar, swordsman and drinker Francois Villon, made King for a day after bragging that he could liberate Paris from the Duke of Burgundy in that time. If he fails, he will be hanged. The operetta, based on the novel, premiered in 1925 and ran for 511 performances in Broadway's Casino Theater, then had equal success in London. Before it was even in pre-production, a young Richard Rodgers and Lorenze Hart had written songs for a Manhattan girls' school musical version. Theater producer Russell Janney (1884-1963) "borrowed" their idea of turning the famous play into a musical and hired the already famous Rudolf Frimi (1884-1972) to write entirely new music and poet Brian Hooker (1880-1946) to write libretto and lyrics. The resulting costume epic was lavishly produced and the critics raved. R. H. Russell had published the novel the same year as the 1901 Broadway premier. A 1920 silent film had starred William Farnum and Betty Ross Clarke; a 1930 movie followed in two-strip Technicolor with Jeanette MacDonald, Lillian Roth, and Dennis King in the role he'd made famous on stage. Long thought lost, the 1930 film was recovered and restored in 1998! A more famous 1938 film, not a musical, had Ronald Coleman as Villon, and a 1956 musical adapted the operetta again. Bookseller Inventory # 1635

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Bibliographic Details

Title: IF I WERE KING

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

Publication Date: 1901

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First edition.

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