My Sabatini Book List

For the past decade I’ve been on a classic adventure kick, and it’s all Sabatini’s fault.

Rafael Sabatini wrote more than thirty historical adventure novels in the first half of the twentieth century, and he also published short stories and nonfiction. His books range from age-of-sail pirate stories to political intrigue in pre-Renaissance Italy. They’re full of romance, humor, and historical detail, and my favorites tend to involve a duel or two.

As with any prolific author the style and quality of his work varies, but all the ones I’ve tried so far have been worth the time. His biggest weakness is probably that the historical elements can sometimes overtake the fiction; there’s one book in particular I tend to think of as Troop Movements: The Novel.

Most of his books are out of print and can be tricky to find in the wild, so I’m posting a list to help me track my collection. Titles I own are bolded and followed by some edition info. I also plan to post some reviews of the books, and those will be linked here as they’re added.

Novels:

  • The Lovers of Yvonne (aka The Suitors of Yvonne, 1902)
  • The Tavern Knight (1904)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, ?, good
  • Bardelys the Magnificent (1906)
    hardcover, Grosset & Dunlap, ?, good
  • The Trampling of the Lilies (1906)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1926 (1st US), very good
  • Love-At-Arms (1907)
    hardcover, Hutchinson & Co., fair
  • The Shame of Motley (1908)
    hardcover, Grosset & Dunlap, 1926?, very good
  • St. Martin’s Summer (aka The Queen’s Messenger, 1909)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1924 (1st US), very good
  • Mistress Wilding (aka Anthony Wilding, 1910)
    as Arms and the Maid, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1910 (1st US), good
    hardcover, Grosset & Dunlap, ?, good
  • The Lion’s Skin (1911)
    hardcover, Grosset & Dunlap, ?, good, fair dustjacket
  • The Strolling Saint (1913)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1925 (2nd imp), very good
  • The Gates of Doom (1914)
    hardcover, Stanley Paul (9th ed), fair
  • The Sea-Hawk (1915)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, ?, good
    paperback, Ballantine Books, 1976, very good
  • The Snare (1917)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, ?, red cover, good
  • Scaramouche (1921)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1923 (14th imp), good
  • Captain Blood (1922)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1922, good
  • Fortune’s Fool (1923)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1923, very good
  • The Carolinian (1924)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1924 (1st US), good
  • Bellarion the Fortunate (1926)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1926, good
  • The Nuptials of Corbal (1927)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1927 (1st US)
  • The Hounds of God (1928)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1928 (1st US), good
  • The Romantic Prince (1929)
  • The Reaping (1929)
  • The King’s Minion (aka The Minion, 1930)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1930, very good
  • Scaramouche the King-Maker (1931)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1931 (1st US), fair
  • Captain Blood Returns (aka The Chronicles of Captain Blood, 1931)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1931 (1st US), very good
    paperback, Ballantine Books, 1977, good
  • The Black Swan (1932)
    paperback Ballantine Books, 1976, very good
  • The Stalking Horse (1933)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1933 (1st US), good
  • Venetian Masque (1934)
    hardcover, Collier, ? good
  • Chivalry (1935)
    hardcover, Grosset & Dunlap, 1935, good, good dustjacket
  • The Fortunes of Captain Blood (1936)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1936 (1st US), good
    paperback, Ballantine Books, 1977, good
  • The Lost King (1937)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1937 (1st US), good
  • The Sword of Islam (1939)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1939, good
  • The Marquis of Carabas (aka Master-At-Arms, 1940)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1940 (1st US), good
    paperback, Ballantine Books, 1977, very good
  • Columbus (1941)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1942 (1st US), very good
  • King In Prussia (aka The Birth of Mischief, 1944)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1945, good
  • The Gamester (1949)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1949, good

Story Collections:

  • The Justice of the Duke (1912)
    hardcover, Stanley Paul & Co., fifth edition, good
  • The Banner of the Bull (1915)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, ?, very good
  • Turbulent Tales (1946)

Posthumous collections:

  • A Fair Head of Angling Stories (1989)
    hardcover, Paul Pursell Outdoor Books (1989), very good
  • The Fortunes of Casanova and Other Stories (1994)
  • The Outlaws of Falkensteig (2000)
  • The Camisade: And Other Stories of the French Revolution (2001)
  • The Evidence of the Sword and Other Mysteries (2006)
    paperback, Crippen & Landru, 2006

Nonfiction:

  • The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1924 (Writings of XI), good
  • Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition: A History (1913)
  • The Historical Nights’ Entertainment (1917)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, no date (1924?), good
  • The Historical Nights’ Entertainment – Series 2 (1919)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1924 (1st US), good
  • The Historical Nights’ Entertainment – Series 3 (1938)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1938 (1st US), good
  • Heroic Lives (1934)
    hardcover, Houghton Mifflin, 1934 (1st US), good

In general, I look for editions published by Houghton Mifflin (which will often have black covers) over Grosset & Dunlap (often the blue ones), and early editions published by Putnam, Brentano’s, or Lippincott over either of those. Old editions by UK publishers (Pearson, Grant Richards, Eveleigh Nash, Hutchinson, Stanley Paul and Martin Secker) or any old editions with a dustjacket would also be great finds.

I haven’t really been collecting any editions published as part of a matching set so far. Houghton Mifflin did a set of signed and numbered “Autograph Editions” that I’d probably pick up if I stumbled across them for a reasonable enough price, but for now it’s been more fun for me to paw through big boxes of mixed editions to see if there’s a surprise or two inside.

(If you see a big, cheap box of old Sabatini books on eBay, don’t bid on it. It’s mine.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s