Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics

This is today's find and it doesn't bode well for the pocket nor the strain on the shelves. I don't normally pay much attention to 'pocket-editions' of classic or not-so-classic novels but I recently became aware for the first time that there is a significant collector base out there for The Everyman Series of pocket-sized editions, published by J. M. Dent in a number of formats these were the original and, some would say, the best of all the pocket editions. So, as I was looking through a few Everymans, with a view to putting them up for sale, I'm come across this pocket sized edition of The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. It actually takes a little bit of searching to discover that the series is in fact the Collins Illustrated Pocket Classics because they don't actually mention the illustrated bit except on the back flap.

So this one has the most delightful woodcuts by Helen Monro, a name I couldn't discover much more about. This title is no. 91 in the series so obviously, first order of the day tomorrow will be to see if I can find any more and see what the illustrations might be like.

One of the nice things about the series is the way that Collins paid attention to detail and obviously attempted to create books of some distinction even though they were only 'pocket-editions'. Hence the description on the back flap of the jacket: "Now, in deference to changing tastes and standards, we are issuing the library in a new format. Still in the handy pocket size, the books will be bound in natural-finish fadeless cloth, with real gold titling and blind ornament. Endpapers designed by Eric Gill, coloud jackets and coloured tops complete this dignified binding, which should appeal to all who appreciate the finer points of modern book production" - oh yeah! ::sigh::

PS. Good to see you back Jim D. hope you can keep up :-) ! John C., I hadn't seen Felix D'eon's Flickr sets that you pointed out and I think I'm going to have to do a bit of 'highlighting' of him at some point given the extremely sexy nature of some of those pictures. Karl, thanks for being in touch about Willard Price and I'm sorry I couldn't help more.


John C said...

I like just about any pocket books from this period not only because they've all lasted so well but also because they're really great for reading when travelling. Easily portable and sturdy. The only drawback I find with older books is you have to stick to English language writers since translated titles are often better in more recent editions. I rarely come across any decent illustrations though.

Anonymous said...

There's a Dumas novel in this series (at least I think it is #511), THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE, which has an introduction by famed thriller writer Dennis Wheatley (who often acknowledged his debt to the French author). I've never actually seen a copy, but I'd love to get one for my DW collection someday.

-Jim D.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have found a copy in this series Tom brown's school days with a blue dust jacket, I am trying to date it. Can anyone help. Red boards. Illustrated byFrank Mckenna. collin. States been producing this series for over 30 years . I cant find another online to date or value.Any help would be great

Anonymous said...

I have Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield Illustrated by Bloome...any idea of the age? looks 1870ish

Amy C said...

I have Miscellaneous Essays by Lord MacAuley it's number 119 in the series. When were they published?

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