|Patricia O'Callaghan||Rinehart, Mary Roberts: K|
|Assignment 1: Bibliographic Description|
|1. First Edition Publication Information||Mary Roberts Rinehart. K. Boston and New York. Houghton,|
Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press, 1915.
Copyright, 1914 and 1915, by the McClure Publications, Incorporated.
Copyright 1915, by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
All rights reserved.
Published August 1915.
|2. First Edition in Cloth, Paper, or Both?||The first American edition is published in trade cloth binding.|
|3. Image of Cover Art||A1319990509154932.jpg|
|4. Pagination||215 leaves, pp. , , 1-19 /20/ 21-29 /30/ 31-43 /44/ |
45-59 /60/ 61-69 /70/ 71-83 /84/ 85-92 /93/ 94-100 /101/ 102-111 /112/ 113-120 /121/ 122-129 /130/ 131-144  /145/ 146-162  163-166 /167/ 168-184 /185/ 186-198 /199/ 200-207 /208/ 209-225 /226/ 227-234  235-238 /239/ 240-244  245-250 /251/ 252
-269 /270/  271-282  283-286 /287/ 288-301 /302/ 303-311 /312/ 313-319 /320/ 321-336 /337/ 338-355 /356/ 357-367 /368/ 369-384 /385/ 386-394 /395/ 396-409 /410/
This pagination statement includes slanted lines indicating that the numbers they contain would be printed in italics. Italicized numbers show "parts of a sequence which are missing but which can be inferred" for a bibliographical description. (Gaskell, P
hilip, A New Introduction to Bibliography, Oxford University Press : New York, 1972, p. 332.)
|5. Edited and/or Introduced?||--|
|6. Illustrated?||Black and white plates facing title-page, p. 144, 162, 244, |
270, 282, and a two-page plate between p. 234-235 are
illustrated by Charles E. Chambers.
Vignette illustration at head of chapter I (p.1); vignette
illustrations at head of each subsequent page of text with
the exception of pages on which following chapters (II-XXX)
|7. Sample Illustration||A1719990509145801.jpg|
|8. General Appearance||Page: 18.8 cm. x 13 cm.|
Text: 13.4 x 9 cm.
Type: Serif, 90R. The type is not worn or cracked.
Frontispiece : 12 x 8 Ω cm. with legend below:
"K. FOUGHT HIS BATTLE"
Facing page 144: 8 Ω x 13 cm. (horizontally placed) with
legend below: HIS QUIET PROFILE GLOWED AGAINST THE NIGHT
Facing page 162: 13 x 9 cm. FROM INSIDE HER CORSAGE SHE
BROUGHT OUT A LETTER
Between pages 234 and 235: 19 Ω x 14 Ω cm. with legend
below: "THEY SAY I POISENED HIM, THAT HEíS DYING."
Facing page 244: 12 Ω x 8 Ω cm. (horizontally placed)
with legend below: "I WORSHIP HIM, K."
Facing page 270: 13 x 8 Ω cm. with legend below: "THEN
YOU CAME INTO MY LIFE"
Facing page 282: 8 Ω x 12 cm. (horizontally placed) with
legend below. IT BURNED SLOWLY AT FIRST
|9. Image of Sample Chapter Page||A1919990509143205.jpg|
|10. Description of Paper||The book is printed on wove paper (with even, granulated |
texture), and is without chainlines and wiremarks. The
illustrations are printed on glossy stock.
The paper is well-preserved. Slight yellowing, but without
foxing or staining.
|11. Description of Binding||Binding: dark orange cloth with a patterned-sand grain.|
Cover blind stamped with a frame of four rules (chain motif)
enclosing the letter K and a period. Spine stamped with a
frame of four solid rules enclosing the letter K and a
period. The book is without a dust jacket. A publishersí
notice is laid in.
|12. Title Page Transcription||Recto:|
K. / BY / MARY ROBERTS RINEHART / WITH ILLUSTRATIONS /
BOSTON AND NEW YORK/ HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY /
The Riverside Press Cambridge / 1915
COPYRIGHT, 1914 and 1915, BY THE MCCLURE / PUBLICATIONS,
INCORPORATED / COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY MARY ROBERTS RINEHART /
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED / PUBLISHED AUGUST 1915 / The Riverside
Press / Cambridge, Massachusetts / U. S. A.
|13. Image of Title Page||A11319990509143205.jpg|
|14. Manuscript Holdings||N/A|
|15. Other||A publishers advertisement is found on leaf 1 with the |
By Mary Roberts Rinehart
THE STREET OF SEVEN STARS.
THE AFTER HOUSE. Illustrated.
HOUGHTON MIFFLEIN COMPANY
Boston and New York
A name and date that had been entered on the fly-leaf
have been erased and are no longer legible.
|Assignment 2: Publication History|
|1. Other Editions:||N/A|
|4. First Edition printings or impressions?||Eight printings of the first edition ("The Publshers' Weekly," 18 September l915, p. 731.)|
|5. Editions from other publishers?||"K." [Garden City, N.Y.] : Doubleday, Doran, |
"K." New York : Grosset & Dunlap, [c1915].
"K." London : Smith, Elder and Co., 1915.
"K." Photoplay title : K, the Unknown, [c1915]
"K." Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, Doran, 1929.
"K." New York : The Sun Dial press, 
"K." New York : Triangle Books, 1943.
"K." Philadelphia : Blakiston, 1945.
(Reprint editions: Lightyear Press, 1992 and Buccaneer Books, 1992)
(Sources: National Union Catalog, OCLC, RLIN)
|6. Last date in print?||"K." Buccanneer Books, Inc. (July 1992)|
"K." Lightyear Press (July 1992)
(Source: Books in Print. R.R. Bowker)
|7. Total copies sold?||N/A|
Regarding sales of "K," Jan Cohn writes: "Published by Houghton-Mifflin in August 1915, it sold more than 100,000 copies by December." (Jan Cohn, "Improbable Fiction: the Life of Mary Roberts Rinehart. Pittsburgh: The University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980,
"K" is listed in "80 Years of Best Sellers" as the fifth highest-selling novel in 1915. (Alison Payne Hackett, 80 years of best sellers, 1895-1975. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1977).
The Houghton Library at Harvard University holds the archives of Houghton-Mifflin. Researchers can visit the collection to obtain information on sales figures of books like "K" published by the company.
|8. Sales by year?||N/A|
The Houghton Library at Harvard University holds the archives of Houghton-Mifflin. Researchers can visit the collection to obtain information on sales figures of books like "K" published by the company.
|9. Advertising copy:||1. "MAKE AUGUST 7th RED LETTER DAY/ On that day w|
e publish/ MARY ROBERTS RINEHART'S "K'/ More and better display material than we have ever before furnished./JACKET ... POSTER STAMP ... POST CARDS ... POSTERS ... "K" is a big, powerful, warm-hearted love story, the kind that appeals to both women and
men. We plan to give it a send-off that will land it among the "best sellers." Price, $1.35 net. Illustrated HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY ("The Publishers' Weekly, 3 July 1915).
2. "New Publications of Importance" ... "K" by MARY ROBERTS RINEHART. "A brillant story of hospital wards and work, of nurses, of surgeons, of discouragements, of successes, of poverty, of wealth, of love-in short, of humanity."-Cleveland Town Topics. Ill
ustrated $1.35 net.
3. "Noteworty Fiction ... "K" ... ("The Publishers' Weekly, November 20, 1915.
|10. Image of sample advertisement||A21019990509151846.jpg|
|11. Other promotion?||An advertisement in "The Publishers' Weekly" of 3 July 1915 announces that Houghton Mifflin will publish Mary Roberts Rinehartís novel "K" and calls attention to "more and better display material than we have ever before furni|
shed" including the bookís jacket, poster stamps for packages and letters, post cards and posters. This advertisement is found above ("The Publisher's Weekly," 3 July 1915, p.1).
A photograph of a bookstoreís display window in Boston using the letter K in various dimensions to advertise the novel was reproduced in "The Publishers' Weekly" (7 August l915, p.3)
|12. Performances in other media?||1. THE DOCTOR AND THE WOMAN. 1918. Based on a story by Mary Roberts R|
Credits: Written and directed by Lois Weber, Phillips Smalley.
Copyright: Jewel Productions, Inc.; 16February18; LP12070.
2. K-THE UNKNOWN. Universal. Jewel. 1924. 8 reels. From the novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
Credits: Director, Harry Pollard; adaptation, Raymond L. Schrock.
Copyright: Universal Pictures Corp.; 11August24; LP20487
(Source: "Catalog of Copyright Entries : Cumulative Series : Motion Pictures, 1912-1939," Washington : Copyright Office, The Library of Congress, 1951.)
"K." [Sound recording] Spokane, WA : Books in Motion, 1992.
"A full-length (unabridged) dramatic reading by Laurie Klein."
|14. Serialization?||"McClure," October 1914-October 1915 (Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, Vol. IV, 1915-1918, p.1653).|
"Cornhill Magazine" Ser.3:39 (1915) 123,225,397,542,551,681,692,834 (Cumulative Periodicals Index: http://pci.chadwyck.com).
|15. Sequels or Prequels?||N/A|
|Assignment 3: Brief Biography|
|Mary Roberts Rinehart, a novelist, playwright and journalist of the United States, was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania on 12 August 1876, the daughter of Thomas Beveridge Roberts and Cornelia Gilleland Roberts. She attended public schools, and graduated from the Pittsburgh Training School for Nurses at Homeopathic Hospital. She married Stanley Marshall Rinehart, a physician, in 1896. They had three sons, Stanley Jr., Alan and Frederick. At the age of fifteen, Mary Roberts Rinehart sold several short stories to the "Pittsburgh Press." After her marriage she took up the craft of writing in earnest. Her vocation was reinforced by the 1904 stock market crash which placed her family in debt. In 1905, at age 29, she published a short story in "Munsey’s Magazine" entitled "His Own Self." Her first novel, "The Circular Staircase" (1908) became a major success. She later dramatized it as "The Bat," and it was subsequently made into four motion pictures. In 1909 she published "The Man in Lower Ten" which also helped establish her as a popular mystery writer. Among Rinehart’s other works in the genre of mystery are "The Door" (1930), "The Yellow Room" (1945), and "The Swimming Pool" (1952). Other novels feature Tish, a middle-aged spinster, who together with two friends, solves murders with keen intuition. These include "The Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry" (1911), "Tish" (1916) and "The Best of Tish" (1955). The Rinehart formula in mystery stories is detection which combines ingenuity and a comic sense. Jan Cohn, in her biography of Mary Roberts Rinehart, "Improbable Fiction," explains that "The Man in Lower Ten" incorporates the basic elements found in many of Rinehart’s mysteries. "Almost always there would be a series of criminal acts undertaken for gain. Of more importance was the ‘buried story’-hidden murders, illicit love affairs-from which erupt acts of violence. And always Rinehart would weave through these complex plots a romantic story of love between two young people." There is also an "atmosphere of suspense and horror." (Cohn 1980, 36).Although Mary Roberts Rinehart is best known for her mystery stories, she also wrote romance novels. Of her eleven best sellers, eight, including "K," were romances (Cohn 1977, p.581). These incorporated many of the elements traditionally found in this genre, including the centering of the story on the romantic life of a woman, her dealings with a mysterious stranger who comes into her life, her strivings towards independence as well as towards achieving the traditional roles of wife and mother, condluding with a happy ending. (Radway 1984). Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote plays, short stories and travel books. On two occasions during World War I she traveled as a journalist to the Front and wrote three books as a result of her experiences there.She lived in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and later in Washington, D.C., where her husband worked for the Veterans’ Bureau. After his death in 1932 she moved to New York City where she helped her sons found the publishing company, Farrar and Rinehart, of which she served as Director. In her later life she suffered from breast cancer, about which she wrote with candor in the July 1947 "Ladies Home Journal". (Cohn 1980, 215). She also suffered from heart trouble from which she died in New York on 22 September l958 (Cohn 1980, 243).Hewitt Howland of Bobbs-Merrill was Rinehart’s editor at the start of her career. Beatrice de Mille worked as her agent in the theatre. Rinehart published material in "The Saturday Evening Post" during many years; this magazine's publisher was George Horace Lorimer.There are manuscript collections of Rinehart materials at Hillman Library’s Special Collections at the University of Pittsburg, at the New York Public Library, and at Harvard University’s Houghton Library.|
Sources:"Benét’s Readers Encyclopedia." Third Edition. New York: Harper and Row, 1987, p. 830.Cohn, Jan. "The Romances of Mary Roberts Rinehart: Some Problems in the Study of Popular Culture," "Journal of Popular Culture," 11 (1977), p. 581-90. Cohn, Jan. "Improbable Fiction: the Life of Mary Roberts Rinehart." Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980. "Contemporary Authors: A bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Writers in Fiction, General Nonfiction, Poetry, Journalism, Drama, Motion Pictures, Television, and Other Fields". Edited by Scot Peacock. New York: Gale, 1999, p.331-334."Notable American Women: The Modern Period." Edited by Barbara Sichenan and Carol Hurd Green. Cambridge, MA : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1980, p.577-579.Radway, Janice. "Reading the Romance". Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984."World Authors: 1900-1950. III". Edited by Martin Seymour-Smith and Andrew C. Kimmens. New York: W.W. Wilson, 1996: 2198-2199.
|Articles about "K" from 1915, the year Houghton Mifflin published the novel, include the following critical statements:"It will be popular. Appeared in McClure’s magazine" (A.L.A. Booklist 12:36 O ’15)"We get some amusing side-lights on various social strata." (Athenaeum 1915, 2:310 O 30 90 w)""Now Mrs. Rinehart’s book is a bad novel, but there is a quality in "K" which brings vividly to mindsomething ideal and exalted, something we enjoy the presence of in spite of the intrusions of all those other people and scenes with which the story is concerned. For us the whole book is saved by the personality of K." (Boston Transcript, p. 8 Ag 7 ’15 1250 w, Cleveland p. 76 Ag ’15 50 w)"The author has shown unusual cleverness in weaving the plot consistently among so many characters. Her technique is much surer than usual. Mrs. Rinehart has never written a more engrossing story." (Literay Digest, 51:533 S 11 ’15 230 w)"The plot is but little complicated and what mystery there is the readers begins to see through almost as soon as it is sensed. As always, however, Mrs. Rinehart has written with a graphic pen." (New York Times 20: 286 Ag 8 ’15 730 w)"Oddly enough, the weakest part of the story is in the management of the plot, which at times seems almost forgotten. The novel is thoroughly likable and one may safely predict a wide reading for it." (Outlook 110:874 Ag 11 ’15 150 w)"Occasionally there appears a book or play which, whatever may be its shortcomings, embodies a generous measure of the real salt of the earth, the milk of human kindness. Such a play was the "Passing of the third floor back"; such a book is Mary Roberts Rinehart’s ‘K.’ " (Publishers Weekly 88:788 S 18 ’15 430 2; American Review of Reviews 52:502 O ’15 170 w)(Source: The Book Review Digest, White Plains, N.Y. : H.W. Wilson Co., 1916, p. 397) |
|"K" was not the subject of additional critical attention by reviewers in the years immediately after the book’s publication in 1915. Attention was paid instead to Mary Roberts Rinehart’s subsequent novels as they appeared, all of which attained commercial success. In 1924 Jewel Productions produced a film based on "K" entitled "K-the Unknown." An article appeared in "Variety" in November of that year mostly devoted to a summary of the plot and stating: "Nothing extraordinary about this latest Mary Roberts Rinehart opus yet it displays certain qualities, particularly an absorbing love interest, that should make it likable as a general program release" (26 November l924 ). In later years biographers of Rinehart included references to "K" in their works, particularly in view of the autobiographical elements in the story of a young nurse who works in a large hospital and eventually marries a doctor. This was true of Jan Cohn in "Improbable Fiction: The Life of Mary Roberts Rinehart" (Cohn, 12, 16, 17, 19). Cohn also devotes attention to the details of the publishing history of the book. "Scheduled to begin serialization in "McClure’s in October, "K" would be one of Rinehart’s most popular books. Published by Houghton Mifflin in August 1915, it sold more than 100,000 copies by December." (Cohn, 73) |
How the ethcial and moral ideals which "K" embodies relate to the book’s commercial success is analyzed in Erik Lofroth’s "A World Made Safe: Values in American Best Sellers, 1895-1920." Cohn analyzes "K" as an example of a romance novel and the implications of this genre for the study of mass culture in the United States. (Cohn 1977)
Cohn, Jan. "Improbable Fiction: The Life of Mary Roberts Rinehart." Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 1980.Cohn, Jan. "The Romances of Mary Roberts Rinehart : Some Problems in the Study of Popular Culture," "Journal of Popular Culture," 11 (1977), p. 581-590.Lofroth, Erik. "A World Made Safe : Values in American Best Sellers, 1895-1920." Upsala : distributor Almqvist & Wiksell Interntional, 1983."Variety Film Reviews, 1921-1925," Vol. Two, R.R.Bowker.
|Mary Roberts Rinehart, who lived from 1876 to 1956, was a prolific writer. As her biographer, Jan Cohn, explains, she was the author of some 70 volumes of fiction and essays. She had the capacity to write novels that captured the loyalty of a mass reading public. Between 1909 and 1936 she wrote eleven best-sellers, the highest number of any novelist in the United States to date. (Cohn 1977, 581). Rinehart’s novel, "K," was the fifth best-selling novel in 1915 (Hackett). A critical reader can focus on different aspects of Rinehart’s novels to explain their popularity. Among the most telling are the dynamics of the plot structures and how her stories and characters resonated with her readers.Boris Tomashevsky, a member of the Russian Formalist Group which began to think and write about literary theory in Moscow in 1915 and in St. Petersburg in 1916, analyzed the structure of fiction. He postulated that every novel’s theme can be reduced to smaller and smaller thematic units and when one reaches those which are essential to the whole and unavailable to further reduction one encounters motifs. A story is made up of motifs organized in causal-chronological order. A plot is how an author arranges the motifs to engage the readers attention and to develop a theme. The same story may be told by countless bards and poets and novelists and filmmakers over the course of time; the plot is the particular manner of doing so which results in varying formal arrangements, different connotations, multiple aesthetic responses in readers.It is through the principle of motivation that motifs are arranged. "Motivation is a compromise between objective reality and literary tradition." Because readers need the illusion of lifelikeness, fiction must provide it. "The formation of an artistic structure requires that reality be constructed according to a esthetic laws. Such laws are always, considered in relation to reality, conventional" (Scholes 1974, 78). In terms of how stories and plots are motivated, Tomashevsky makes a distinction between bound and free motifs, as well as those that are static and dynamic. Dynamic motifs are telling in an analysis of the plot or story of "K" and many other novels appealing to a mass public, for it is a dense ordering of dynamic motifs that propel a story forward and incite the desire of a reader to continue with the text to find out what will happen next. The dynamic motifs form the chain of the story: an event occurs, this causes another event, which causes another and so on until the story has reached its conclusion.In "K" the family of the heroine, Sidney Page, faces straightened circumstances. They take in a border, the mysterious "K" Le Moyne, and Sidney, to achieve self-sufficiency and independence, becomes a nurse. "K" falls in love with Sidney, Sidney falls in love with Dr. Max Wilson, who is sexually attracted to another nurse, Carlotta Harrison. Carlotta returns his attentions with passion. Dr. Wilson proposes marriage to Sidney and Carlotta, in a jealous rage, gives one of Sidney’s patients an overdose of medicine. Sidney is dismissed from her post. Joe, a neighborhood boy, who also loves Sidney, shoots Dr. Wilson. Carlotta asks the mysterious "K" to operate. He does so reluctantly, saves Dr. Wilson’s life, and his identity revealed, is charged with manslaughter for having killed a patient some years before. Carlotta reveals the truth that it was she who had engaged in intrigue at the time of the fatal operation in order that Max Wilson, "K"’s assistant at the time, would prosper. The dynamic motifs of "K" are numerous, resulting in a plot that moves swiftly. They are arranged and presented in a sequence that is chronological; there are omissions of facts that occurred before the novel begins, but there are no flashbacks or distortions of time. The story remains close to its own plot. Straightforward and simple to grasp, it does not disorient or confound the reader as a novelist like James Joyce or Virginia Woolf, who recreate the flux of human consciousness at work, might do.With its simple display of dynamic motifs, and the tension of numerous love complications, "K" also offers its readers elements of a mystery story. These relate to the events that happened before the action begins and are hinted at and revealed only slowly over the course of the novel. Victor Sklovsky, also a Russian Formalist, distinguishes between two forms of story-telling in his book "Theory of Prose," (1925):"1) A story may be told in such a way that the reader sees the unfolding of events, how one event follows another. In such a case, such a narration commonly adheres to a temporal sequence without any significant omissions. We may take as an example of the type of narration Tolstoi’s "War and Peace."2) A story may be told in such a way that what is happening is incomprehensible to the reader. The "mysteries" taking place in the story are only later resolved. As an example of the latter type of narration let me mention "Knock! Knock! Knock!" by Turgenev, the novels of Dickens and detective stories." (Sklovsky, 101) Sklovsky states that what characterizes the second type of narration is temporal transition. When an incident or motif is omitted from a temporal sequence and is presented only after its consequences have been revealed a mystery results. |
While "K" is not a mystery story, as are so many of Mary Roberts Rinehart’s novels, its hidden line of narrative enables the reader to interpret clues, glean hints, ponder situations which are presented with incomplete information. It offers the reader the participatory nature of a novel of detection which has steady appeal for a mass reading public. "K" has riddles but it must clearly be identified as a romance novel, a genre which has not traditionally been the object of critical attention. It is not included in such reference books as the "Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics," "Benet’s Readers Encyclopdia," or in dictionaries of literary terms. However, more attention has been paid to the romance in recent years as studies of popular culture have progressed. The genre is the subject of Jancie Radway’s 1984 book, "Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature." Radway bases her study on discussions with a bookstore employee with an expertise in romance novels, interviews with 16 of her customers and responses to questionnaires given to forty-two others. Most were middle-class, married women with children (Radway, 12). These readers concurred that a good heroine in a romance must have "intelligence, a sense of humor and independence." (77) Women who can be productive and accomplished in a sphere that is not domestic are valued the most. (77) At the same time that a woman’s intelligence, independence, self-sufficiency and initiative are valued, they must also finally capture a man who admits he needs her. (88) A happy ending "restores the status quo in gender relations" (81) and the experience of the novel fashions a kind of Utopia in which conflicting needs and desires coexist. It is to participate in this world that may explain why so many women read this genre. It is a reflection of their own desire for autonomy while at the same time reaffirming the domestic sphere in which they live their lives. Sidney Page is a heroine who takes up a career in nursing, carries herself with assurance and dignity, loves an unworthy man who proposes marriage to her, and eventually marries a noble, generous and capable man. The fiction in which she operates offers the attractions of a straightforward, compelling plot, elements of detection and a world in which the reader finds resonance and order.Sources:Cohn, Jan. "The Romances of Mary Roberts Rinehart: Some Problems in the Study of Popular Culture," "Journal of Popular Culture," 11 (1977), p. 581-90. Hackett, Alice Payne. "80 Years of Best Sellers, 1895-1975." New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1977.Radway, Janice. "Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature." Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.Scholes, Robert. "Structuralism in Literature: an Introduction." New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974.Sklovsky, Victor. "Theory of Prose." Elwood Park, Il. : Dalkey Archive Press, 1990.
|A plate facing p.144 of "K."||S1img19990503221127.jpg|
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