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Cabbages and Kings

Book cover
By: (1862-1910)

This work is O. Henry's first published volume and is considered to be his only novel. The plot is composed of several short stories, which were inspired by the author's six-month stay in Honduras in the late 1890s.

"The incidents embracing as they do, a variety of subjects, hang loosely together, so loosely in fact, that at times one finds no apparent connection between them at all, and yet in the end one sees how each is intimately related to the other. ...Written by a less able hand than O. Henry's the book might have been a sad jumble, perhaps comprehensible to none but the Walrus--but as it is, one finds a joy in its every obscurity." -- The New York Times Book Review, Dec. 17, 1904)

Great mysteries are ofen meta-mysteries. For over a century this novel has masqueraded as a collection of loosely connected short stories. Looking backwards through a prism (now a commonplace critical contortion) Cabbages and Kings foreshadows many shadings: "At Swim-Two-Birds", "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote", "Tyrants Destroyed", "The Continuity of Parks". -- Elliot Gage

O. Henry spent his first years as a writer in Austin, Texas, and the University of Texas maintains a 219-item collection of his works at the Portal to Texas History (reference to publicly-available items which may not be in public domain offered to enthusiasts). — Eric W. Metzler

First Page:

CABBAGES AND KINGS

by

O. HENRY

Author of "The Four Million," "The Voice of the City," "The Trimmed Lamp," "Strictly Business," "Whirligigs," Etc.

[ILLUSTRATION: "A little saint with a color more lightful than orange" (frontispiece)]

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things; Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, And cabbages and kings."

THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER

CONTENTS

THE PROEM: BY THE CARPENTER I. "FOX IN THE MORNING" II. THE LOTUS AND THE BOTTLE III. SMITH IV. CAUGHT V. CUPID'S EXILE NUMBER TWO VI. THE PHONOGRAPH AND THE GRAFT VII. MONEY MAZE VIII. THE ADMIRAL IX. THE FLAG PARAMOUNT X. THE SHAMROCK AND THE PALM XI. THE REMNANTS OF THE CODE XII. SHOES XIII. SHIPS XIV. MASTERS OF ARTS XV. DICKY XVI. ROUGE ET NOIR XVII. TWO RECALLS XVIII. THE VITAGRAPHOSCOPE

THE PROEM

BY THE CARPENTER

They will tell you in Anchuria, that President Miraflores, of that volatile republic, died by his own hand in the coast town of Coralio; that he had reached thus far in flight from the inconveniences of an imminent revolution; and that one hundred thousand dollars, government funds, which he carried with him in an American leather valise as a souvenir of his tempestuous administration, was never afterward recovered... Continue reading book >>


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