Blackie’s Famous Books

Blackie and Son Ltd. (London, Glasgow, UK)
Series dates: 1910-1965
Size: 5.25″ x 7.25″

Blackie and Son published educational and juvenile books including several series: the earlier Blackie’s Library of Famous Books (1890s) and the Kennett Library (late 1950s onward) are two examples. They also published a scholarly series called the Casket Library.

Blackie’s Famous Books consisted largely of classics appropriate for young adult readers. This copy of Tom Brown’s School Days is undated, but probably 1930s. This general design was used from about 1930 to the early 1950s. The jackets are illustrated with one of the color plates from the book. Both the jacket spine and cover have illustrations unique to the title. The front flap advertises other Blackie books and includes a price (2/-). There is a serial number for the title on the jacket spine. There is no indication in the book itself that the title is part of a series.


The bindings are substantial with debossed details.


A list of titles in the series is included on the rear of the dust jacket. Advertisements for other Blackie & Son books are printed on the rear dust jacket flap.


In the late 1950s, the series was redesigned and a smaller set of titles re-issued. This style of jacket and book was available until the mid-1960s. This copy of Alcott’s Good Wives is undated, but around 1960. The jackets are unique to each title, illustrated, and a blurb included on the front jacket flap. The series name appears at the base of the spine, as does the book’s serial number (in this case, #6). The series name appears only on the jacket.


The rear jacket flap includes the 18 titles in the redesigned series.


Bindings are solid, coarse grey cloth with red typography.


Half-title page:


Title page:


The book is undated. There is also no indication that the book is part of a series on or in the book itself.