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MERLE DE VORE JOHNSON
Merle De Vore Johnson (1874-1935) was an Oregon-born cartoonist and bibliographer. Before the First World War he managed the art department of the New York Evening Journal and then during the war was the cartoonist for the News in Rhyme section of Puck. Johnson illustrated many books and was an authority on modern American first editions. He published bibliographies of Mark Twain and James Branch Cabell, the latter of which was pubished by Frank Shay in 1921. An avid book collector, Johnson amassed of over 2,500 pamphlets and volumes by and about Woodrow Wilson. When he sold the collection a year before his death, it was thought to be the most complete available.
Two Letters from Merle De Vore Johnson to Joseph Hergesheimer, March 30 and April 21, 1932
These two letters demonstrate the intense attention to detail that bibliography requires. Now largely neglected, Joseph Hergesheimer was an immensely popular and respected novelist in the 1920s. Through tracking instances of broken type in The Three Black Pennys, Johnson attempts to differentiate between the first state of the first edition of Hergesheimer's book and subsequent states; differences in state occur when alterations are made to the text during the printing of a single edition.