Bruccoli & Layman bibliography
Originally published in 1919 (only printing) by Bobbs
Illustrated by Fontaine Fox
Approximately 4,385 sold between September 1919 and June
The stories first appeared in The Red Book Magazine
- "Own Your Own Home" January 1915, pages
488-500 (B&L D12).
- "Welcome to Our City" June 1915, pages
29-40 (B&L D17).
- "The Last Laugh" July 1915, pages
16-18, 30 (B&L D20).
- "Uncivil War" September 1915, pages
938-949 (B&L D24).
- Because Own Your Own Home is often
ignored in Lardner criticism, I didn't expect to
think much of it when I first read it. I
was pleasantly surprised. It is not his
greatest work, to be sure, but it also isn't his
worst. Far from it. Lardner has
captured the experience of modern home building
and suburban living in such a way that I think he
is writing about me. My contractors and
bankers are on the page.
Later in the story, when
the actions of the characters become cruel and
unusual, I am reminded of the "practical
jokes" in later stories like "The
Maysville Minstrel" and
"Haircut." The seeds of Lardner's
greatest stories are sown here. For that
reason alone, it is worth a look.
- I have tried to maintain
as much of the look and feel of the original
volume as possible in my web edition. All
of the original illustrations are included, and
they are placed close to where they were in the Bobbs-Merrill edition. The font I used,
Book Antiqua, is not an exact match, of course,
but it is similar.
- There are some
inconsistencies in spelling and usage that I have
chosen to keep as published. I will check
the magazine pieces at a later time to determine
if they were peculiar to this volume; without
original manuscripts, the magazines will have to
act as the ultimate source. Given Lardner's
attention to detail, though, one would assume
that the inaccuracies are