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Works of Gilbert Byron
Go to bibliography of the books of Gilbert Byron

The Unicorn Bookshop specializes in the writings of local author Gilbert Byron (1903-1991) who has been called "The Chesapeake Thoreau" and also the "Voice of the Chesapeake". For more information on the life and work of Gilbert Byron, the restoration of his house, or the Gilbert Byron Society, please click on Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

Titles in stock include:

COLLEGE DAYS Tales of the Jazz Age; 2007; 118 pps.; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; final volume in the Noah Marlin series; wraps.; new; $17.95

while supplies last: limited edition hardbound edition; one of 30 numbered copies with tipped in cancelled check signed by Byron and limited edition Jack Schroeder print of bugeye; $50.00

COVE DWELLER; 1983; 120 pp; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; illustrated with sketches by John Moll and original photos; this is the story of Byron's first year in a house which he built himself on Old House Cove, St. Michaels, MD. in 1945. Byron lived there on the cove for the next 45 years as a chronicler of Chesapeake Bay life.; paperback; new $7.95

DONE CRABBIN'; 1990; 195 pp; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; continues the adventures of Noah Marlin, the boy from Byron's most famous novel The Lord's Oysters; hardback; as new; $16.95

SELECTED POEMS; 1983; 74 pps; 9 1/4 x 6 1/2; illustrated by Jack Schroeder; Byron's best known poems spanning his fifty year writing career; paperback; as new; $14.95

SUNBATHING WITH THE PROFESSORS; 1982; 74 pps; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; Poems of the Eastern Shore; a collection of over 70 of Byron's poems from 1960; paperback; new; $5.95

THE SIGHT OF A MARSH HAWK; 1985; 58 pp; Eastern Shore haiku; illus. by Marianne Whitcomb; paperback; new; $5.95

Other out of print Byron titles are often in stock, contact the Unicorn to see what's currently on the shelves.


by James Dawson

        Although an excellent list of Byron's works in newspapers and periodicals was published in Gilbert Byron's Chesapeake Seasons, no detailed bibliography of his books and pamphlets has ever been done. It is hoped that this effort will fill that void. The information presented here is not in strict bibliographic format, but in the more user friendly bookseller's catalog format. All editions are hardback unless noted and all hardbacks had dust jackets.
      Many details about Byron's books appear here for the first time. Information followed by an (*) was supplied by Gilbert Byron, other information is from the Gilbert Byron papers, advertising fliers, old Books in Print , Unicorn Bookshop records, several internet sites, the Minutes of the Talbot County Free Library and examination of the books. Special thanks to Jacques Baker, Jack Lewis and Sam Smith for their help.
      The color plates used in These Chesapeake Men, Delaware Poems and the first edition of The Chesapeake Bay Scene were reproduced by a collotype silk screen process by Paul L. Baruch Fine Arts in New York City. Plates were printed first and then colored. Plates from TCM were printed six on a sheet at a retail cost of 18¢ a sheet. No two plates of the same illustration are exactly alike in regard to the color.
      Special thanks to Jacques Baker, Jack Lewis and Sam Smith for their help.


THESE CHESAPEAKE MEN; The Driftwind Press; North Montpelier, Vermont; 1942; 170 pp. inc. glossary; 5 1/4 x 7 3/4; 6 tipped-in color plates. by Jack Lewis; pps. 122-3 has music for the poem "Parson of the Islands" by Edna Byron; bound by Burlen & Son in Boston in brown cloth with blindstamped 1/16 ruled border measuring 4 1/2 x 7 3/8 on front cover, brown end papers and wood grain dust jacket, photo of Byron on back panel; published Dec.1, 1942; 300 copies printed*; dust jacket priced $2.00; out of print Dec. 8, 1942

second printing: title page dated 1943; green cloth with no blindstamped ruled border, green end papers and plain green dust jacket, photo of Avalon on back panel, photo of Byron on inner front flap, tree design lower right corner of front cover; advertised to be published Feb. 1, 1943; 500 copies printed*; dust jacket priced $2.00; out of print by 1945

DELAWARE POEMS; The Driftwind Press; North Montpelier, Vermont; 1943; one printing*; 192 pp.; 5 1/4 x 8; blue cloth with blindstamped 1/16 ruled border measuring 4 1/2 x 7 3/8 on front cover, blue end papers; tipped-in color plate frontis. by Edna Byron and 7 b&w illus. by John B. Moll, Jr.; plain green dust jacket with Moll illus. on front panel; inner front flap of dust jacket states "Delaware Poems is the second of a trilogy telling of the long peninsula and the two great bays which border it. The first book These Chesapeake Men, which chronicles the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake country, was published last year.", it is not known what the third volume was to have been; advertised to be published Dec. 1, 1943, but one copy distributed by Nov. 4, 1943; 1,000 copies printed*; dust jacket priced $2.00; 700 copies sold by 1945; out of print

WHITE COLLAR AND CHAIN; The Driftwind Press; North Montpelier, Vermont; 1945; one printing*; 59 pp.; 5 1/8 x 7 7/8; dark blue cloth; white endpapers; dark blue dust jacket with white collar and chain design; advertised to be published Dec. 1, 1945; 500 copies printed*; dust jacket priced $1.75; out of print

CHESAPEAKE COVE; The Easton Publishing Co. Inc.; [Easton, Md.]; 1953; one printing*; 57 pp.; 5 3/4 x 8 1/2; brown pebbled cloth; lt. green end papers with blue map design by John Moll; white dust jacket with blue Moll map design; in manuscript by Oct. 31, 1952; advertised to be published Dec. 1, 1953, 500 copies printed*; some copies seen signed and numbered by author on f.f.e.p.; one copy seen inscribed and dated by author Nov. 30, 1953; also copy #2 reported, but not seen signed and numbered, but not inscribed or dated; dust jacket priced $2.00; out of print

THE LORD'S OYSTERS; an Atlantic Monthly Press Book/ Little Brown and Co.; Boston and Toronto; (1957); one printing; first edition [so stated]; 330 pp.; 5 1/2 x 8 1/4; red cloth spine and tan boards; tan dust jacket with wrap around black oyster design by Jack Lewis, red and black lettering on front panel; written during Byron's first two years at Old House Cove, the 200,000 word manuscript was finished by 1948, but it took Byron 9 years to find a publisher, a shortened version was published in 1957, and except for the years 1961 to 1967, it has remained continuously in print, and from 1977 to about 1989 two different publishers had editions in print; published Feb.1957*; dust jacket priced $4.50; out of print Sept. 1961*
        The Maryland Room of the Talbot Co. Free Library has a unique copy that was presented to Byron by the publisher. It is bound in brown half leather and brown boards; hubbed and gilt dec. spine. Label on front paste down reads "To Gilbert Byron A very Merry Christmas from your friends at the Atlantic. Seymour Lawrence." On the ffep Byron wrote "For the Talbot County Free Library- over the years its services have been invaluable to my writing. Gilbert Byron Christmas 1963."

second edition: Tradition Press; Hatboro, Pennsylvania; 1967; 330 pp.; 5 7/8 x 8 3/4; light green cloth; with new intro. by author; dust jacket has black lettering and oyster design; publisher anticipated publication in Oct. 1967 in an edition of 750 copies; dust jacket priced $8.50; 284 copies sold by April 30, 1968. Note: some B.I.P. records indicate an edition by Gale Research, Inc. published Jan. 1970, cost $8.50, but no copy has been seen with the Gale imprint, so this edition is probably a bibliographic ghost as Gale likely took over the distribution of the Tradition Press edition; out of print circa 1989

third edition: The Johns Hopkins University Press; Baltimore and London; with revised intro. by author; 330 pp.; 5 1/4 x 8; paperback; brown lettering and oyster design on wrapper; published by April 15,1977; rear wrapper priced $3.95; reprinted 1981-rear wrap $3.95, 1986 (rear wrap $8.95, 1997 (1997 edition stated 4th printing). 1991 printing listed on internet apparently is an error

EARLY EXPLORATION OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY; The Maryland Historical Society; Baltimore; 1960; one printing?; 23 pp. plus 1 pp. ad; 6 x 9; illus.; pamphlet bound in blue wraps with map design; cost $1.00; out of print

THE WIND'S WILL; The Easton Publishing Co.; Easton, Md.; 1961; one printing; 165 pp.; 5 1/2 x 8 1/4; Moll illus. on title page; white boards with gold swirl design and blue lettering; white dust jacket with blue illus. of boat by Moll; some first edition material with reprints of poems from Byron's first three books; probably 1,000 copies printed; dust jacket priced $3.75; 140 bound copies left by Dec. 1967; out of print

ST. MICHAELS: THE TOWN THAT FOOLED THE BRITISH A Complete Account of the British Attacks on St. Michaels during the War of 1812; Easton Publishing Company.; [Easton, Md.]; 1963; one printing?; 40 pp.; 6 x 9; illus. by John Moll and with other illus.; pamphlet, blue wraps with lanterns in tree design by Moll; cost $1.00

second edition with addition: (St. Mary's Square Museum; St. Michaels); (1971); title page states "Printed by Easton Publishing Company first edition, 1963, second edition, with addition 1971" but p. 3 states "now being published by the St. Mary's Square Museum, Inc. St. Michaels, Maryland, 21663"; 48 pp., last two pages blank

third edition with additions; St. Mary's Square Museum; St. Michaels, Maryland; (1986); 46 pp. plus 2 pps. of illus. that had appeared in previous editions on the inner covers, inner covers of this edition blank

THE WAR OF 1812 ON THE CHESAPEAKE BAY; Maryland Historical Society; [Baltimore, Md.]; 1964; one printing?; 94 pp.; 4 1/4 x 6 3/4; illus.; pictorial wraps; paperback; published by June 1964, letter from C. Porter Hopkins dated April 21, 1964 on Maryland Historical Society stationery to John Pentz about Pentz writing a review of the book for the Maryland Historical Magazine says that the book was "published just recently"; cost $2.00; out of print 1991

CHESAPEAKE DUKE; Rand McNally & Company; Chicago, New York, San Francisco; (1965); one printing; 180 pp.; 5 3/4 x 8 1/4; illus. by Emil Weiss; tan cloth with red lettering; dust jacket has color wrap around illus. by Weiss; copyright page of first (and only) printing states "edition of 1965 A"; one copy seen inscribed "Copy #1 For Hayden + Frances and Haydee--without whose help "Chesapeake Duke" would never have been written and published Gilbert Byron Jan. 18, 1965"; dust jacket priced $3.95; last 450 copies remaindered by publisher by Nov. 30, 1968; out of print 1970*

second edition: Tidewater Publishers; Cambridge, Maryland; 1975; 163 pp.; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; paperback; text and cover illus. by Jack Lewis; published Dec. 18, 1975; wrapper priced $5.00; out of print circa 1989

TALBOT'S LIBRARIES (1676-1965); Talbot County Free Library; [Easton, Md.]; 1965; one printing?; 21 pp. plus 1 p. appendix; 9 1/8 x 11 1/2; mimeographed typed pages; bound in stiff gray paper binder with typed paper label on front cover; Byron volunteered to do this project which was authorized by the Library Dec. 10, 1963; dated in text Feb. 22, 1965; this is the scarcest of Byron's works; out of print

SUNBATHING WITH THE PROFESSORS Poems of the Eastern Shore; Unicorn Book Shop; Easton, Md.; 1982; one printing; first edition [so stated]; frontispiece of Byron and with intro. by Dr. Donald L. Ball; f.f.e.p. states "Of the first edition of SUNBATHING WITH THE PROFESSORS, 100 copies have been bound in hardcover, numbered and signed by the author. Each contains a page from Mr. Byron's original manuscript. 96 copies are for sale."; 74 pp.; 1,021 copies printed; published Dec. 3, 1982:

limited, autographed, numbered edition of 100 copies with tipped-in manuscript page; blue cloth; 5 3/4 x 8 3/4; white dust jacket with black lettering; dust jacket priced $17.95. Note: an extra 21 copies were issued, not numbered or autographed and with no tipped-in manuscript page; clear plastic dust jacket; cost $14.95; out of print 1983

paperback; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; white wrapper with black lettering; wrapper priced $5.95

COVE DWELLER; Unicorn Book Shop; Trappe, Md.; 1983; first edition [so stated]; 120 pp.; frontis. by Moll and illus. with photos by author; f.f.e.p. states "Of the first edition of COVE DWELLER, 150 copies have been bound in hardcover, numbered and signed by the author. Each contains a page from Gilbert Byron's original manuscript." approx. 1,100 copies printed; published Nov. 2, 1983:

limited, numbered edition of 150 autographed copies with tipped-in manuscript page; 5 7/8 x 8 7/8; green cloth; white dust jacket with Moll illus. on front and photo of Byron on rear; dust jacket priced $24.95; out of print 1984

paperback: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; white wrapper with Moll illus. on front and photo of Byron on rear; wrapper priced $7.95; out of print Sept. 9, 1994

second edition; (1994); paperback with added illustrations of cabin; published Sept. 9, 1994; 1,060 copies printed; wrapper priced $7.95

THE SIGHT OF A MARSH HAWK; Unicorn Bookshop; Trappe, Maryland; 1985; one printing, first edition [so stated]; illus. by Marianne Whitcomb; 58 pp.; f.f.e.p. states "Of this first edition of THE SIGHT OF A MARSH HAWK, 100 copies have been bound in hardcover, numbered and signed by the author and illustrator. Each contains a page from the original manuscript. 96 copies are for sale. The first twenty nine copies also have an original illustration from the book and, in addition, copies numbered from 1 to 8 have a page from the unpublished poem San Domingo, for the manuscript page." approx. 1,000 copies printed; published Oct. 1,1985:

deluxe limited, numbered, autographed edition with tipped-in manuscript page: 5 3/4 x 8 1/2; copies 1 to 29 included an original illustration from the book and copies 1 to 8 have as the tipped-in manuscript a page from the unpublished poem "San Domingo"; brown cloth; white dust jacket with illus. by Whitcomb; photo of author on reverse; dust jacket priced $24.95; out of print 1985

limited numbered, autographed edition of copies numbered 30 to 100 with tipped in manuscript page; 5 3/4 x 8 3/4; brown cloth; dust jacket with illus. by Whitcomb; photo of author on reverse; dust jacket priced $24.95; out of print 1987

paperback: 5 3/4 x 8 1/2; white wrapper with illus. by Whitcomb; photo of author on reverse; wrapper priced $5.95

GILBERT BYRON'S CHESAPEAKE SEASONS: A Cove Journal; Harold D. Jopp, Jr. general editor; Chesapeake College Press; Wye Mills, Maryland; (1987); one numbered, limited edition of 600 copies; 198 pp.; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; illus.; with intro. and comprehensive list of Byron's books and appearances in periodicals; copyright page states "Limited edition of 600 copies of which this is number __"; paperback; light green pictorial wraps. with green heron design and blue lettering on front and photo of Byron on the rear; published by April 1987

deluxe edition: the first 100 copies autographed and numbered and with color photo. of Byron laid in; cost $19.95; out of print

regular edition: copies numbered 101 to 600; cost $12.95; out of print

DONE CRABBIN' Noah Leaves the River A Sequel to The Lord's Oysters; The Johns Hopkins University Press; Baltimore and London; (1990); 195 pp. plus 1 p. ad; 5 1/2 x 8 1/4; frontis. illus.; light green half cloth spine with green cloth boards; blue endpapers; frontis. illus. repeated on blue dust jacket; published April 16, 1990; Jacques Baker said that he and Arlene Sullivan,Assistant Director at Johns Hopkins Press, who was responsible for getting the book published took Gilbert out to lunch to celebrate the books publication on Saturday and he was in the hospital Monday and transferred to a nursing home in about a month and never went home again. Despite being nearly bind with tunnel vision so severe that he said it was like looking through a shotgun barrel, Gilbert managed to find a typo in the book, on p. 182 line 32 bell should be ball. Gilbert signed only a handful of copies due to his failing health and eye sight, using a marker pen leaving a very shaky line; two chapters "Grandpappy's Final Hour" and "Mrs. Peasy Got An Answer" were reprinted from Jopp and Ingersoll Shoreman An Anthology and had been intented forThe Lord's Oysters , but were deleted due to space; one printing in hardback; in dust jacket priced $16.95

        second printing: paperback; published Oct. 2000; cost 14.95

SELECTED POEMS; The Literary House Press, Washington College; Chestertown Maryland; (1993); one printing; 74 pp.; 6 1/2 x 9 1/2; intro.; illus. by Jack R. Schroeder; preface by Robert Day; introducation by Jim Landskeiner; reprints of Byron's poetry, no first edition material; paperback; gray wraps with Schroeder illus.; published by Oct. 2,1993; cost $14.95

COLLEGE DAYS Tales of the Jazz Age; The Talbot County Free Library Foundation- The Albaugh Fund; Easton, Maryland; 118 pp; forward by Jacques Baker; printed wraps; illus. forward by Jacques Baker; edition size 508 copies total including 30 unbound copies set aside for a limited edition

        limited edition: thirty numbered copies,with tipped-in cancelled check with Byron's signature; 5 3/4 x 8 3/4; black and maroon cloth (approximating the school colors) and pictorial insert on front cover; published Dec. 2007; retail $50.

        trade edition: 478 copies;5 1/2 x 8 1/2; soft bound; pictorial wraps; retail $17.95


Lewis, Jack; THE CHESAPEAKE BAY SCENE; [published by the author]; (Bridgeville, Delaware); (1953); autographed, numbered limited edition, limitation not stated; 500 copies; n.p. (approx. 229 pps.); 9 x 12 1/4; green cloth, illus. by the author with 24 full page tipped-in color plates and 84 b&w illus.; with 6 7/8 x 7 7/8 color front cover label; green end papers illus. by author; dust jacket blank except for 6 1/2 x 7 1/2 design from front cover label on front panel; forward by Byron and 12 poems reprinted from These Chesapeake Men; tipped-in illus. usually loose due to poor quality glue; cost 10.00

second edition; (1973); limited, numbered autographed edition, limitation not stated; 500 copies; 240 pps; 11 5/16 x 8 5/8; green cloth; 25 color and 85 b&w illus; with 5 1/4 x 7 1/8 color front cover label; yellowish green dust jacket has color Lewis illus. on front panel in a yellow border and b&w drawing on back, inner front flap has info. on Lewis and innerback flap has info. on Byron with part of a poem; this edition dedicated to Byron; this edition reprints 4 more poems from These Chesapeake Men not found in the first printing; contents revised and rearranged; the color illustrations are printed and not tipped-in; copyright page states both second edition and second printing 1973, but there were only two printings of the book, one in 1953 and one in 1973; brochure states publication Nov. 1, 1973, cost 12.50- advance price 10.00

SHOREMEN An Anthology of Eastern Shore Prose and Verse; edited by Harold D. Jopp and R.H. Ingersoll; Tidewater Publishers; Cambridge, Maryland; 1974; only edition?; 316 pp.; 5 7/8 x 8 7/8; paperback; dec. color wraps; illus. in title page; pps. 93-106 contain Byron's "Grandpappy's Final Hours" and "Mrs. Peasy Got An Answer" two previously unpublished chapters from The Lord's Oysters; and pps. 277-283 reprint three poems from The Wind's Will; wrapper priced $6.00; published by June 26, 1974; out of print


Clark, Charles, B., editor and author; THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA; Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc.; N.Y.; (1950); 3 volumes; 557+[625] + 350; total 1,532 pps.; 8 1/4 x 11; blue cloth; pps. 787 to 819 "Eastern Shore of Maryland Literature" by Donald L. Ball which mentions Byron on pps. 813-4 calling his work "certainly the greatest contribution to the poetry of the Shore since the turn of the century", p. 814 reprints small parts of poems "Chesapeake Bunyan" and "Chesapeake Change" and three of Byron's books are listed in the bibliography on p. 819. one printing of 500 copies; out of print.

ECHO 1954; Easton, Maryland; 1954; n.p. (approx 108 pp); 8 1/4 x 10 3/4; off white boards with impressed design, Easton High School shield; this Easton High School yearbook was dedicated to Byron, who taught there, and has a full page photo of Byron with a dedication and reprints the poem "Chesapeake Sculptor" from These Chesapeake Men

Jean Sterling, editor and Publisher; Scimitar and Song; Vol. XXXIII Number 4, Sept.-Oct.-Nov. 1971; Edgewater, Md. 21 pps; 6 x 9 1/2; wraps; picture of Byron on cover, "Gilbert Byron, Cover Poet" on p. 1 and ten poems printed on pps. 14-15: "These Chesapeake Men"; "Sails"; "Chesapeake Bunyan"; "Mending Nets"; "January's Eternal Butterfly"; "Evening Marshes"; "Chesapeake Calendar"; "Dipnet in Hand"; "Tangier" and "Crab Talk".

Cheyfitz, Eric, editor; A SAMPLING OF POEMS by Poets-in-the-Schools, Maryland; Maryland Arts Council; Baltimore; 1977; 82 pps.; 6 1/4 x 9; red wraps.; pps. 14-17 has a brief biography and photo of Byron and reprints the poems "Sails", "Evening Marshes" and "Crab Talk".

Horton, Tom; BAY COUNTRY; The Johns Hopkins University Press; Baltimore and London; (1987); 223 pp.; 6 1/4 x 9 1/4; white cloth; photo. illus. dust jacket; illus. by Charles R. Hazard; in the article on Byron "Thoreau Times Forty" on pps. 181-186 some passages from Byron's poetry are reprinted; dust jacket priced $16.95; reprinted 1987, 1988.

        paperback; published Feb. 1994.


"St. Michaels- the Town That Fooled the British" in Ford Times; Jan. 1961; pps. 27-31; illustrated by Jack Lewis. this article is completely different from the pamphlet with the same name, see above.

"In 1919 Everybody Was Yellow about Something" in The Davidson Miscellany; vol. 18 No. 2; Davidson, N.C.; Fall 1982; pps. 8 - 13;

"The Hunted" in Delmarva Quarterly; Vol. 1 No. 4 Spring 2003; pps. 24-25; a previously unpublished short story; with photo of Byron and biographical sketch.

"A Learning Situation" in Delmarva Quarterly; Vol. 2 No. 1 Summer 2003; pps. 36-37; believed to be an unpublished chapter deleted from The Lord's Oysters.

"My First Years On Old House Cove" An Unpublished Manuscript Fragment edited by James Dawson in Tidewater Times; July 2006, pps. 123-140, with three photos.

"History of Talbot Co. Schools" 7 part series Star Democrat Feb. 16 to March 15, 1972.


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