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Telling Fortunes by Tea Leaves (jacket) or Fortune Telling by Tea Leaves (title page)

Cicely Kent (jacket) or Cecily Kent (title page and cover)

This is a remarkably inconsistent book, but then it's all made up anyway. This is one of two books on fortune telling published in 1921 by Herbert Jenkins by the same author. This book has two different titles, unless you accept that the title on the title page is the correct title, but the author's name is spelled differently on the jacket (Cicely) and title page and cover (Cecily), so which is correct? In the other book her name is spelled 'Cicely' on both the jacket and title page but Cecily on the cover, so perhaps you should not accept that the name of the author on the title page is the correct spelling?

The book is listed under the name 'Cecily Kent' in the British Library, as 'Cicely Kent' at Cambridge University, Durham and the National Library of Scotland and, would you believe it, as 'Cicily Kent' at Oxford University. They seem to be the only two books written using this name, or variants of this name, and I can find nothing about the author other than entries on these books, so it was probably a pseudonym.

This title was published in 1922 by Small, Maynard and Company (according to a copy listed on Jisc) and by Dodd, Mead and Company, New York (3rd printing 1927; 5th printing, 1935; 10th printing 1946). It seems to have been more popular in the USA than in the UK.

Telling fortunes using tea leaves or other sediments is called tasseography or tasseomancy which gives it no greater credibility, but I thought you might like to know.

First edition

Bibliography code: JEN-21.2i

Publisher: Herbert Jenkins

Series: none

Year: [1921]

Format: 8vo

Pages: 172

Binding: Fourth printing. Green cloth with 'Telling Fortunes by tea-leaves Cecily Kent's new method of divination clearly explained' in black, with back line around edge. Title, author, Jenkins colophon of a centuar and publisher on spine in black. 'A Herbert Jenkins book' and winged horse symbol on rear.

Size: 181 x 114 mm

Dust jacket signed: Blam, lower left corner

Internal illustrations: yes, not by Blampied

Price: 2 shillings

Printing history: Fourth printing, no date

Printed by: Purnell and Sons, Paulton (Somerset) and London

Notes: I have only seen a fourth printing, which may be a smaller book than the first printing. The copy in the British Library has been rebound.

Image of dust jacket

Dust jacket (click to enlarge)

Image of cover and spine

Dust jacket (click to enlarge)

First US edition

Bibliography code: JEN-21.2ii

Publisher: Small, Maynard and Company

Series: none

Year: 1922

Format: not known

Pages: not known

Binding: Pale blue cloth with title in black on cover; title, surname of author and publisher in black on the spine

Size: not known

Dust jacket: presumed by Blampied as the US edition of Telling Fortunes by Cards has the U.K. jacket design

Internal illustrations: yes, not by Blampied

Price: not known

Printing history: not known

Printed by: The Murray Printing Company, Cambridge, Mass

Notes: I have only seen a copy on eBay without the jacket