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James Branch Cabell
James Branch Cabell photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1935.
James Branch Cabell photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1935.
Born (1879-04-14)April 14, 1879
Richmond, Virginia

May 5, 1958(1958-05-05) (aged 79)
Richmond, Virginia

Cause of death Cerebral hemorrhage
Occupation Author
Alma mater College of William and Mary
Genre Fantasy fiction

James Branch Cabell (1879 – 1958) was an American writer. He wrote fantasy fiction. His name is pronounced "CAB-ble".


Cabell was born and lived most of his life in Richmond, Virginia. He spent the winters in Florida until the death of his first wife in 1949. He retired in Florida.

Cabell was born into a rich Virginian family. His father, Robert Gamble Cabell II (1847–1922), was a physician. His mother, Anne Harris (1859–1915), was the daughter of Col. and Mrs James R. Branch. Cabell's great-grandfather, William H. Cabell, was Governor of Virginia from 1805 to 1808. Cabell was the oldest of three boys . His brothers were Robert Gamble Cabell III (1881–1968) and John Lottier Cabell (1883–1946). His parents separated and were later divorced in 1907.


Jurgen first
Dust jacket of Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice

Cabell worked from 1898 to 1900 as a newspaper reporter in New York City. He returned to Richmond in 1901. In Richmond, he worked several months for the Richmond News.

In 1902, seven of his stories appeared in national magazines. Over the ten years, he wrote many short stories and articles. These were published in well-known magazines including Harper's Monthly Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post. During his life, Cabell published fifty-two books, including novels, genealogies, collections of short stories, poetry, and miscellaneous other writingss. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1937.


Cabell died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1958 in Richmond, and was buried in the graveyard of the Emmanuel Church at Brook Hill. The following year the remains of Cabell and his first wife were reinterred in Hollywood Cemetery.

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