by Arfies, Maurine, Wizzy, Ling Ling, CosmosCotillion and Joe
Throughout the series, books added to the comedy on Bewitched through action (Darrin levitating a novel with his gifted powers), amusing titles (The Stephens’ burglar finds their book on “the criminal mind”), or as a source of Tabitha’s storybook playmates and adventures (Bobby the Dodo Bird, Sleeping Beauty, Jack & The Beanstalk, Hansel & Gretel).
At times, books also added to the supernatural element (Clara’s ancient book of curses & spells, and the Apothecary’s dusty old book of remedies).
With the advent of digital remastering of Bewitched episodes for DVD, more and more of the Stephens’ omnibus has become easier on the eyes and various titles have been spotted by viewers.
In # 15 "A Vision of Sugar Plums," Samantha reads the classic fairytale "Tom Thumb" at bedtime to her Christmas guest, Michael. This German story titled "Daumesdick" was included in the collections "Kinder und Hausmarchen" (Children's and Household Tales, 1812-15) by brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. The book is translated by Mrs. EV Lucas, Lucy Crane, and Marian Edwardes. It is illustrated by Fritz Kredel of the Junior Library, and published by Grosset & Dunlap, NY, MCMXLV.
In # 17 "A Is For Aardvark," Darrin is reading a book floating in front of him that he later tells to go back downstairs and save his place. The title: "American Don Juan in Rome" by Salvatore Murgi (1961). The book's description is: "The adventures of a ladies man from America that gets his Law Degree from Harvard, visits the sights in Rome, and discovers the wonders of sin and wickedness among Italian ladies of every station. From waitresses to the high-born aristocrats! Very good reading and a well written lusty passionate adventure!"
Other books seen above the bed in episode # 17 include:
"VASARI'S (Lives of the
Artists)" by Giorgio Vasari . This is a study of Italian
artists of the late 13th century to the Renaissance. An abridged version
of Vasari's classic work, edited by Betty Burroughs, was found to
be published in 1946.
In # 48 "A Strange Little Visitor," a burglar combs through the Stephens' livingroom bookcase looking for valuables. In close-up, he holds up the book "Psychology of the Criminal Mind" by Samuel _____ (the author's name is obscured by the crook's hand). No info matching this book title can be found, and it is presumed to be a studio prop used for the episode's sight gag.
However, on the same bookshelf in episode # 48, you can clearly see copies of the books:
"Greek Tragedy 1941" by Anthony Heckstall-Smith & H.T. Baillie-Grohman (1961), the heroic story of the evacuation of British forces from Greece in April 1941, following their failed and misguided efforts to reinforce the Greek Army against the German invasion.
"Ben-Hur" by Lew Wallace (1880), a 19th century classic novel (later made into a classic film) which follows the fortunes of Judah Ben-Hur, who lived in the time of Jesus.
In # 54 "And Then There Were Three," Samantha reads "Baby & Child Care" by Dr. Benjamin Spock from her Maternity Ward bed. The first edition of this book was published in 1955, with several revised versions later released.
In # 129 "A Prince of a Guy," Samantha reads the Sleeping Beauty story to Tabitha from "The Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales", published in 1969 by Platt and Munk Publishers. While the back cover is from the actual book (pictured above), the front cover as seen in the episode has clearly been altered. The book is lavishly illustrated with Miss Tudor's art, and contains the following stories:
In # 136 "A Majority of Two," Samantha and Aunt Clara prepare an authentic Japanese meal for Darrin's client using the cookbook "Sukiyaki: The Art of Japanese Cooking and Hospitality" (1957) by Fumiko & C.S. Guletz.
In # 164 "The Battle of Burning Oak," Endora reads Samantha's copy of "Actors Talk About Acting" (1961) edited by Lewis Funke & John E. Booth. This book contains "Fourteen Interviews with Stars of the Theatre."
In # 187 "The Phrase is Familiar," Warlock tutor Poindexter Phipps reads to Tabitha from "Oliver Twist" (1838) by Charles Dickens. To illustrate the story, Phipps materializes the book's character: "The Artful Dodger".