Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pulp Fiction III: The British Connection

Kay was forever suffering the indignity of having her name misspelt (and no, I haven't misspelt "misspelt"; look it up) a fact pointed out by one New York gossip columnist who mentioned that Katharine Cornell also spelled (or should I say "spelt"?) her given name with two a's. (As did Katharine Hepburn, of course.) It must have been particularly galling, though, in the case of Avon's tawdry looking pulp edition of Red-Headed Woman. (The editors and art directors also managed to lose the hyphen in the title.)

What's really funny to me, though, is on the back of the book: a picture of the Bard being used to tout "GOOD BOOKS" by "Great Authors". That may well be the case, but it's completely incongruous with what's on the front cover. (Oh, remind me to show you my copy of The African Queen sometime!)

ANYway. One of the books in my collection is this 1948 British edition of Woman (depicting an elfin, modestly attired Lil--LOVE the Cinnabon hairdo!), inscribed by Kay in 1949 to some friends, with thanks for a lovely weekend. 

Now, one of the really nifty things about collecting is that sometimes you find little  unexpected surprises. Inside this copy of the book was this hand-written note from Kay ("Bob" was Kay's companion):

Isn't that cool? The "nasty-looking paperbound reprint, of the railroad station type" is undoubtedly the Avon edition. It's no surprise that Kay found it distasteful. The note also contains a bit of poignancy: Kay never would get around to writing that new book. She would be dead just three years later.

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