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Cabell, James Branch

Born: 1879 AD
Died: 1958 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Authors, Satirists

1879 – Cabell was born in Richmond, Virginia on the 14th of April.

1893-1898 – After attending William and Mary College, where he taught courses in French and Greek while an undergraduate, Cabell worked briefly at the Richmond Times as a copyholder.

1899-1901 – Cabell lived for two years in New York City, working for the New York Herald as a social reporter, serving for a time in the paper’s Harlem office.

1901 – Returned to Richmond and worked several months on the staff of the Richmond News.

1911 – Employed as a bookkeeper in the office of his uncle’s (James R. Branch) coal mine in West Virginia.

1913 – He returned to Richmond and married Rebecca Priscilla Bradley Shepherd and they had one son, Ballard Hartwell Cabell.

1918 – Published 10 major works and began to attract critical admirers. In an article published that year in the New York Evening Mail, H.L. Mencken described Cabell as "the only first-rate literary craftsman that the whole South can show." 

1919 – Cabell’s stature and fame as an author grew immensely with the publication of Jurgen.

1920 – On 14th of January, the New York State Society for the Prevention of Vice charged Cabell’s publishing editor, Guy Holt, with violation of the anti-obscenity provisions of the New York State Penal Code by publishing Jurgen. The controversy over the charges and the attempt at censorship brought the shy Cabell much notoriety. Writers defended the artistry of Jurgen and Cabell’s right to publish it. College students and others read it because it had been banned.

1932 – In an attempt to break away from his past, he began to publish work under the name Branch Cabell.

1937 – Cabell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1947 – Cabell as James Branch Cabell with the publication of Let Me Lie. It was the first installment of his fifth and last trilogy, consisting largely of semi-autobiographical essays, filled with remembrances of Virginia. Cabell continued to live and work in Richmond, residing at 3201 Monument Avenue. He and his family began to spend most of their winter months in St. Augustine, Florida after Cabell began to suffer from attacks of pneumonia in 1935.

1949 – During their stay in Florida, his wife died of heart failure.

1950 – Married Margaret Waller Freeman, whom he had known for many years.

1958 – Suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and on 5th of May, he died at his home in Richmond.