|Katherine Sanders||Hilton, James: Good-Bye, Mr. Chips|
|Assignment 1: Bibliographic Description|
|1. First Edition Publication Information||Hilton, James. Good-bye, Mr. Chips. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Limited Publishers, 1934.
Copyright: Canada, 1934. By McClelland & Steward, Limited.
Parallel First Editions:
1) Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1934. (Published June 1934; reprinted June 1934 twice.)
2) London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1934. ("Origionally issued as a supplement to the British Weekly.")
|2. First Edition in Cloth, Paper, or Both?||The First Canadian Edition is a hardback, published in trade cloth binding.|
|4. Pagination||65 leaves, pp. [i-iv] [1-2] 3-125 .|
|5. Edited and/or Introduced?||The First Canadian Edition is neither edited nor introduced.|
|6. Illustrated?||The First Canadian Edition is not illustrated. (Although, the American First Edition [Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1934] has illustrations by H. M. Brock.)|
|8. General Appearance||The physical appearance of the text is attractive and the typography is legible.
Page size: 188mm x 122mm.
Text size: 130mm x 80mm.
Type size: 125R.
The margins are unusually large and, along with the large amount of space between each line of text, it makes the text easy to read.
|10. Description of Paper||Paper: cream color, smooth surface, deckled edge.
Preservation state: good (only a slight browning on the edges, particularly on the top of each page, and a slight tear in the deckled edge of the cover page). No significant foxing, stains, or tears. The original quality of the paper held up well over time.
|11. Description of Binding||No dust jacket.
Binding Material: cloth with a crisscross grain.
Stamping: medium blue, blind.
Endpapers: slightly thicker paper, cream.
Spine: Good-bye, | MR. CHIPS | [1.7mm illustration of a leaf] | HILTON || McCLELLAND | & STEWART | LIMITED.
Front: Good-bye, | MR.CHIPS || JAMES HILTON.
|12. Title Page Transcription||Recto: Good-bye, | MR. CHIPS | By | JAMES HILTON || McCLELLAND & STEWART LIMITED | PUBLISHERS TORONTO.
Verso: COPYRIGHT, CANADA, 1934 | BY | McCLELLAND & STEWART, LIMITED | PRINTED IN CANADA | T. H. BEST PRINTING CO., LIMITED | TORONTO,ONT.
|14. Manuscript Holdings||An original copy of an Atlantic Monthly (where Good-bye. Mr. Chips! was first published) is held in the Stanford University Libraries. (Volume 153)
However, information on the novel's manuscript is not avaliable at this time.
|Assignment 2: Publication History|
|1. Other Editions:||Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 3p.1.,3-125,. Reprinted: July 1934 (twice), July 1935, and 1936.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1934. ìAn Atlantic Monthly Press Book.î 132p. with illustrations (21cm). Reprinted: 1938.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. Illustrations by H.M. Brock. 3 p.l., vii-viii p., 3-132p. front., illustrations 12. Reprinted : 1939, 1948, and 1952.
|4. First Edition printings or impressions?||Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. Printed 11 times by December 1, 1934 (date of 11th printing of the first edition). Also reprinted in 1935 and 1936, so there are (at the least) 13 printings of the first edition by Little, Brown and Company.
NY: Grosset and Dunlap, 1934.
London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1934.
Toronto: McClelland and Steward, 1934.
Bantam Books, 1934.
Globe Book Company, edition: Globe Schl ed., 1934.
|5. Editions from other publishers?||NY: Grosset and Dunlap, 1934.
London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1934.
Toronto: McClelland and Steward, 1934.
Bantam Books, 1934.
Globe Book Company, edition: Globe Schl ed., 1934.
A School Edition, by Salibelle Royster. NY: Globe Book Co., 1953.
Thorndike, ME: Chivers Press, 1995. (Large print edition)
Garden City, NJ: Atlantic-Little, Brown. c1962, c1934. (Junior Deluxe Editions)
|6. Last date in print?||October 2002: Still in print.|
|7. Total copies sold?||By March 3, 1935: 132,000 copies sold.|
|8. Sales by year?||1934: 132,000 copies sold.|
|9. Advertising copy:||Publishersí Weekly (May 12, 1934): ìAlexander Woollcott shouts in The New Yorker, April 21: ëI assume that before long it will have found a final resting place between book coversÖbut if you have not already read it and do not want to wait, you can find it now in the April AltlanticÖdeeply satisfying.î
Publishersí Weekly (Cover: July 21, 1934): ìDiscriminating Readers Everywhere Are Telling Their Friends They Must Read JAMES HILTONíS Good-bye, Mr. ChipsÖThis splendid story has universal appeal.î
Publishersí Weekly (September 24, 1934): Little, Brown, and Company ad for 12 books including Good-bye, Mr. Chips: ìEvery book a bullís eye! Twelve Christmas Hits! Leaders in Christmas Sales!î
Publishersí Weekly (cover: December 8, 1934): ì1934ís Christmas BookÖ ëA tender and gentle story as warming to the heart and as nourishing to the spirit as any I can rememberí Alexander WoollcottÖsay ìHow Manyî to your customers!î
|11. Other promotion?||N/A|
|12. Performances in other media?||Good-bye, Mr. Chips, ìA Play in Three Acts by James Hilton and Barbara Burnham. Based on the novel of the same name by James Hilton. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1938. 139p. 19cm.
ìGoodbye, Mr. Chips,î by James HiltonÖColver City, CA, 1939. ìFinal shooting script of photoplayÖproduced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, British Studios, Ltd.î
ìMr. Chips Looks at the World,î a lecture by James Hilton, given before the Modern Forum of Los Angeles, December 1939. LA: The Modern Forum, Inc., 1939.
APJAC Productions. NY opening of film: November 5, 1969. Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs.
|13. Translations?||Addio, Mister Chips! 1954. (Italian)
Adios, Mister Chips! Translated by Jose M. Espoy and Juan Gasso Bosch. Barcelona, 1943.
Adios, Mr. Chips! Translated by David Perry. Chile: Zig-Zag, 1949.
Ardievu Mister Cips. Stockholm, Latvia, 1949.
Au revoir, Monsieu Chips! Translated by Maurice Remon. Illustrated by J. Simont. Paris, 1939.
Good-bye, Mr. Chips. Annotated by H. de Groot. Amsterdam, 1947.
|14. Serialization?||Atlantic Monthly Press, 1934. Published by Little, Brown, and Company.|
|15. Sequels or Prequels?||Hilton, James. To You, Mr. Chips. London: Hodder and Stoughton, June 1938. (244 pages with illustrations)|
|Assignment 3: Brief Biography|
|James Hilton was born on September 9, 1900 to John Hilton and Elizabeth Burch Hilton in Lehigh (Lancaster, England). John Hilton was an assistant master at the Forest Road Elementary School and became the headmaster at the Chapel End Elementary School in 1902. Elizabeth Burch Hilton was a schoolmistress before married and remained married to John Hilton until his death in 1955. James Hilton began his schooling at the Maynard Road Elementary School, attended the Sir George Mondox Grammar School and the Leys School where he was editor of the school magazine. He went to college in London attending Cambridge’s Christ’s College. While in college his first journalistic piece was published in the Manchester Guardian, he occasionally edited for the Daily Telegraph, and also wrote his first novel Catherine Herself (published by Unwin Publishers in London, 1920). After graduation he spent the next ten years at home writing novels that failed to receive much acclaim and failed to provide Hilton with any significant monetary return (due in part to the post-war economic slump of the 1920s). Hilton also taught at Cambridge, wrote for the Dublin magazine Irish Independent, and continued editing for the Daily Telegraph. Hilton’s first monetary success was And Now Goodbye (published in 1931 by Benn publishers in London and then in 1932 by Morrow Publishers in New York). In 1933 he won the Hawthornden Prize for his novel Lost Horizon (1933) and was consequently commissioned in 1933 by the British Weekly to contrive a “Christmas Number” which he titled Good-bye, Mr. Chips. Hilton initially came upon his plan for Good-bye, Mr. Chips while bicycle riding in London on a winter morning in early 1934 and he claimed the work only took four days to write. The work received immediate praise from Alexander Woollcott, an influential critic whose review pushed the story’s sales tremendously and influenced the publication of Good-bye, Mr. Chips in its novella form (1934 by both Macmillan in London and Little, Brown in Boston). In March 1935 Good-bye, Mr. Chips was adapted into a radio broadcast and Hilton continued to submit stories about Mr. Chips for magazines, which were combined and published in To You, Mr. Chips (in London by Hodder & Stoughton). Hilton first visited the United States with his wife Alice Brown Hilton in November 1935 and returned in 1937 to live in California. Shortly after his move Hilton filed for a “Mexican divorce” from Alice Brown that came through on April 13, 1937. Seven days later he married Galina Kopineck, an actress with whom he had been “associated with” since his arrival in California. In 1938 Hilton hosted and edited for the Hallmark Playhouse, a California radio program that was broadcasted once a week. Hilton’s last blockbuster, Random Harvest, was published in 1941 (by Macmillan Publishers in London), although he published eight more novels in his lifetime. In 1942 Hilton won an Academy Award for his screenplay Mrs. Miniver and he continued to work in the Hollywood film industry. After a fulfilling career Hilton died on December 20, 1954 of liver cancer.
Sources: Dictionary of Literary Biography [Alderman Reference PN466.D52 (volumes 34 and 77)], Dictionary of National Biography [Alderman Reference DA28.D4.1885.9th Supplement], Obituaries from the Times “1951-60” [Alderman Reference], Virgo Database (Contemporary Authors), Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia [4th edition, Alderman Reference PN41.B4.1996], The Oxford Companion to English Literature [Alderman Reference PR19.P73.1998], and Current Biography Yearbook [Alderman Reference CT.120.C8.1955].
|Following in suit with Alexander Woollcott’s influential praise, given when the novel came out in sequel form in The Atlantic Monthly (see Assignment 2: #9), most reviews speak of Good-bye, Mr. Chips with acclaim. The reviews emphasize the “tender, sweet story” and call the novel a “triumph in the art of sentimentalism…it can be guaranteed to hit every soft spot in the reading public.”
Many reviews focus on the figure Mr. Chips and how the character inspires readers. For example: “the gradual transformation of Mr. Chipping from a very ordinary master into the much loved ‘Mr. Chips’ is skillfully set out for us…and by the time we come to the end of the book we are sharing the grief of the school at the loss of a very lovable old man.”
Reviewers also compare Hilton’s work to other authors and some even define the novel as highbrow literature, for example, “Not only does Good-bye, Mr. Chips stand very high…I should think that Mr. Hilton’s little book might find a place in writing courses, alongside Edith Wharton’s novelettes, as an outstanding example of perfect finesse in the handling of the long short story and as a first-class specimen of the methods of that subtler, yet still somewhat technical matter, literary ‘charm’.”
Still, not all reviewers are taken by the sentiment of the novel, and some reviews mention “it trembles on the edge of an uncomfortable sentimentality once or twice.” Another review states, “To my mind Good-bye, Mr. Chips is in no sense a great book, merely a touching one.”
Here is an example of a comprehensive review:
“In its way, Good-bye, Mr. Chips, is a minor miracle—one of those rare and living pieces of writing which transcend classification, which require no precedent and are certain to have no successful imitators. To convey the precise flavor of this piece by attempting to describe it would be impossible…It has tenderness and humor, and smoothly avoids the pitfalls of sentimentality and bathos. Above all, it creates in Mr. Chips himself a memorable and living character.”
Book Review Digest. Edited by Marion A. Knight. NY: The HW Wilson Co, 1935.
Book Review Index. 1965.
The New York Times: December 22, 1954.
Booklist: July 1934.
Chicago Daily Tribune: December 22, 1934 (p10).
Cleveland Open Shelf: July 1934 (p16).
Forum: Volume 92, August 1934.
The New Republic: July 18, 1934.
New Statesman & Nation: October 13, 1934.
|After the film Good-bye, Mr. Chips was produced in 1969 there were subsequent reviews of the novel along with the film’s reviews that mention “an impression to tie in with the new film starring Peter O’Toole.”
Here is a good example of a complete review:
“One lays the book down with satisfaction that comes from the contemplation of a piece of work supremely well done. This is too good a book to be borrowed—it should be bought.”
Hilton’s Obituary in The New York Times also mentions his best-selling novel:
Good-bye, Mr. Chips arrived… his first resounding success… With this simple tale of the old schoolmaster Hilton added to the stock of popular symbols and perhaps softened the criticism of public schools and their masters which had come from both within and without. The improbability of Mr. Chips did not prevent him and the gentle sentimentality of his story being taken to the hearts of thousands of readers on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Books and Bookmen. Volume 14. August 1969 (p38).
Books and Bookmen. Volume 15. November 1969 (p66).
The New York Times. December 22, 1954.
Publisher’s Weekly. Volume 196. September 15, 1969 (p62).
| Good-bye, Mr. Chips is a sentimental novel that depicts the main character, Mr. Chipping’s, refusal to be conquered by the trials and tribulations that are set before him—written in the wake of England’s recovery from the First World War and the Great Depression, it brings a sense of hope to weary readers. Published with intentions to be a best-selling Christmas novel, Good-bye, Mr. Chips invokes a good-natured step towards accepting the things one cannot change (such as war, death, and pain) and in the spirit of Christmas it inspires its readers to be kind, generous, and considerate. The novella also takes a step back to look at the cultural, political, and social history around the turn of the nineteenth Century through a sentimental lens. However, even though it had the ability to touch many readers (who had all been affected by the global war and ensuing depression), Good-bye, Mr. Chips still remains close to home for Hilton. It in fact is closely biographical to the teaching career of Hilton’s father and Hilton’s own experience in the English school system (Dictionary of National Biography). The novella attests to the importance of tradition, stability, and reflection in a period of change—it holds onto meaningful institutions, conventions, and friendships while accepting the celerity in which the modern world is changing.
Good-bye, Mr. Chips renews hope in postwar England in its depiction of the survival of both the young men themselves and of Brookfield as an institution through the battles of World War One and the Great Depression. The novella commemorates the many lives of young men lost to the trenches, but does so without blaming an enemy. The novella even recognizes humanity in the enemy—in the novella Mr. Chips not only reads the names of lost British soldiers, but also of the character “Max Staefel, the German master… was killed last week on the Western front” (Hilton 95). By making Mr. Chips recognize a friendship with a so-called enemy, Hilton himself acknowledges the universal suffering in the war. Hilton pushes his readers to remember the dates, happenings, and conflicts of the war, such as “The Battle of the Marne, the Russian steam-roller, Kitchener,” as well as the loss of individuals, for example in the character of “Forrester, the smallest new boy Brookfield had ever had—about four feet high above his muddy football boots…[until] he was killed in 1918—shot down in flames over Cambrai” (Hilton 87-88). Hilton recognizes loss but does so in a productive manner, he “gave the public a glimpse of escape into philosophical reflection, a sight of a man who made peace and quiet in his own mind…[in a] humane, genteel, balanced atmosphere that Hilton—and his readers—felt was destroyed in the ferocity and barbarism of the world war” (Dictionary of Literary Bibliography). Mr. Chips retells the events of his life, the war, and the depression, from the perspective of an honest civilian. This perspective lead to the success of the novella—many people empathized with the community of Brookfield because they too felt that same death, fear, and loss in the early twentieth century.
Hilton himself even felt the backlash of the war and the Great Depression in his own career, after his first book Catherine Herself was published in 1920 “the years that followed the war were difficult for him and it was not until 11 years later, in 1931, that he had considerable success in And Now Goodbye” (NY Times). Not only is the novel’s recollection and recovery from the post-war slump parallel in a way to Hilton’s literary career, the plot itself borders on being autobiographical of his father’s career. In fact, Mr. Chips seems to encapsulate the values Hilton respected in his father and Hilton seems to “paint…a tender portrait of his father…in the ‘old-boy’s-view’ of masters and boys at an English school” (Dictionary of National Biography). Hilton’s heritage and public persona are rooted in Mr. Chips’ character and also the book as a whole “reminiscences about his school days” (Dictionary of Literary Biography). The novel not only attests to the happenings in Hilton’s own life but also serves to “soften the criticism of public schools and their masters which has come from both within and without” (NY Times). However, Hilton’s public image does not remain the same for long—shortly after Good-bye, Mr. Chips’ success Hilton career takes a drastic turn as he moves to Hollywood, divorces his wife to marry a movie star, and even wins an Academy Award (Dictionary of Literary Biography). The novella merely represents Hilton’s early career in England, which shifts once he becomes an American citizen.
Although the novella seems to have a shortsighted focus on a small British school community, it actually manages to cover many important universal topics of social, cultural, and political progress. Mr. Chips’ wife Katherine embodies the spirit of change around the turn of the Nineteenth Century. She is:
A new woman of the nineties…she read and admired Isben; she believed that women ought to be admitted to the universities; she even thought that they ought to have a vote. In politics she was a radical…[and] her ideas and opinions poured out. (Hilton 24/26-27)
Her character not only represents a spirit of modernity, but also shows how a modern youthful female can relate to a traditional elder male. The marriage between Mr. Chips and Katherine invokes the readers to accept modernity while still adhering to some important historic values—their elated union creatively blends the attitudes of the past and future. Good-bye, Mr. Chips also marks the political change in historical occurrences such as when Mr. Chips announces to the students, “In 1900…you will all be deeply grieved to hear that His Majesty King Edward the Seventh died this morning” (Hilton 61). Hilton also depicts World War One’s effects on Mr. Chips: “1918. Chips lived through it all…to keep a sense of proportion, that was the main thing. So much of the world was losing it” (Hilton 94-95). Mr. Chips also encounters the tragedy of the people who died aboard the Titanic and even technological advances such as the bicycle and the cinema (Hilton 65, 82). The novella is rooted in specific historical contexts that serve to further envelop the readers, many of whom may remember the effects of the same instances in history on their own lives. It serves to make the novella easy to relate to because Mr. Chips lives through the same drama the reader or the reader’s parents experienced.
The novel is not only references the events that occurred in the time period, Good-bye, Mr. Chips also is reminiscent of a wave of sentimentality in some literature in the nineteen-thirties. Readers of the era found the genre of British sentimental fiction endearing and it was called “a triumph in the art of sentimentalism, which the British like just after having been especially realistic. It can be guaranteed to hit almost every soft spot in the reading public” (American History and Life; Book Review Digest). Although reviewers often looked down upon sentimentalism, many praised the novel’s “sentiment without sentimentality” and felt it “a delicate and moving book” (Dictionary of Literary Biography). Although the novel touched readers’ hearts, it was not perceived as a tearjerker:
No tears will flow over this story of a schoolmaster who gradually turned into a mythical character instead of a drone, but everybody will feel like crying, and that does us all good. The little tale gives us the soft English character in a hard nutshell. (Book Review Digest)
The sentimentalism brought back memories of the past, but without the pain that accompanied many past occurrences, and the genre proved to be immensely popular. There was a…
genuine coincidence with the tastes of the general public, not necessarily the tastes of professional critics. He was a ‘novelist who sells the reader a good time’ [and] evoked a rosy image of Victorian and Edwardian life.
(Dictionary of Literary Biography)
Hilton himself even said, “I don’t mind being called a sentimentalist so long as it is not used in a derogatory sense…All the great novels of the world have been sentimental” (Dictionary of Literary Bibliography). Undoubtedly this genre proved successful by remaining on the top-ten bestseller list for two years in a row and even in the Twentieth Century (as of October 2002) it is still in print (Publishers’ Weekly). Sentimentalism, fiction about World War One, and fiction about teenagers, all prove to be longstanding genres that are still around in 2002.
Good-bye, Mr. Chips’ success not only was dependent on the novella’s contextual appeal—Hilton’s success also had a lot to do with the Atlantic Monthly’s relationship with Little, Brown, and Company Publishers. Alfred Robert McIntyre, the head of Little, Brown, and Company as of 1908, “entered an arrangement with the Atlantic Monthly Company whereby works which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly or were otherwise generated by its editors would be published by Little, Brown” (Dictionary of American Bibliography). This relationship insured that after Good-bye, Mr. Chips was published in serial form in the Atlantic Monthly, it would be published to an even broader audience. Along with his keen choice of a publisher, Hilton believed that “what made his books sell [was] a mixture of media promotion” (Dictionary of National Biography). After the novella’s booming success, Good-bye, Mr. Chips’ hurriedly was debuted on a radio broadcast in 1935, onstage in 1938, and on film in 1939, which all served to continue and further the novella’s popularity (Publishers’ Weekly). In fact “eight of his own novels were made into motion pictures, generally with his supervision” (Dictionary of Literary Biography). Mr. Chips even became a well-known persona that Hilton continued to chronicle in ensuing short stories in To You, Mr. Chips “a collection that includes some more stories of Mr. Chips…which capitalized on the Chips fad by writing six short stories about his hero’s further exploits, [and also was] first published in magazines” in 1938 (Dictionary of National Bibliography). To You, Mr. Chips was even rewritten as a play in 1938 and performed in London. These subsequent stories of Mr. Chips and the many forms of media Good-bye, Mr. Chips took, sustained the novella’s sensation and Hilton’s advancing success.
Although Good-bye, Mr. Chips’ achievement is rooted in many variables, the novella’s success depended strongly on the new sediment that developed in Europe and America after the effects of World War One and the legacy of the Great Depression had tapered in the 1930s. There was a trend towards recovery that was reached with reflection on the hardships, grief, and deaths that readers around the globe dealt with. However, this novella not only represents recovery, but also the change in the technological, social, and cultural history. Hilton introduces modernity’s effects on tradition in the happenings and relationships between Mr. Chips and his more progressive students, wife, and fellow professors. The transformation of Mr. Chips’ students, from traditional British schooling into the modern world, is parallel to Hilton’s own journey from England to the global world of film production. However, even though the novel relies heavily on Hilton’s own childhood experiences, the novella is able to reach a broad audience with a universal relevance. Good-bye, Mr. Chips has attracted readers with its endearing tone, desirable universality, and its lovable main character Mr. Chips—the novella flourished as a bestseller in 1934 and 1935 by giving the readers just what they needed to recover from previous worldwide misfortune.
Hilton, James. Good-bye, Mr. Chips. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1934.
Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of Literary Bibliography
Dictionary of American Biography (McIntyre)
American History and Life
Book Review Digest (Cleveland Open Shelf, July 1934; Forum, Volume 92, 1934)
The New York Times, Obituary for Hilton
Publishers’ Weekly (September 1934; December 1935)
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
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