Booklover’s Library

aka/ Hutchinson’s Booklover’s Library

Hutchinson & Co. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1928-1945
Size: 4.75″ x 7″

Hutchinson’s Booklover’s Library consisted of 59 popular fiction and non-fiction titles, first advertised in 1928 with the final title, On the Bridge, by James Andrew Gardiner Troup, issued in 1945. There were three reprints of the Troup title (1946, 1950, 1952) after WW2, the only reprints I’ve found from the series after 1945.

The earliest jacket design was common to the series, using contrasting colors. the jacket spine includes two bands with the title and author, followed by the series name, number, price (2/- net in this case) and publisher. The front of the jacket includes a rectangle frame with a circle containing the title and author. The series name, series number, and the price is at the bottom of the front of the jacket. The front jacket flap contains information about the title, including excerpts from reviews of the book. The series name is included again, at the bottom of the jacket flap.

The rear of the jacket blurbs the series and lists up to #42 (of the eventual 59 titles in the series). The rear jacket flap is blank.

Oatmeal cloth binding contains a modern looking sans serif typeface. The series name is included at the bottom of the spine.

The half-title page:

The title page is faced by an additional title by the same author.

“Printed in Great Britain at the Anchor Press, Tiptree, Essex.” The book is not dated, but probably mid- to late-1980s.

The rear of the book contains an annotated, two-color catalog. The series is blurbed, and 51 titles are listed (compared to 42 on the jacket). Clothbound titles are 2s, leather-bound titles are 3s./6d. Reviews of the series are included.

In the late 1930s, jackets were redesigned, with a common general design but unique illustrations for each jacket.

The spine of the jacket includes the number of copies printed (11th Thousand), title, author, series name, series number, and publisher. In this case, #13 is W.B. Maxwell’s Like Shadows on the Wall. The book is undated, inside (which seems common for many of the books in this series). This collection of stories was included in the series early on, in 1928, but the inclusion of titles through #51 on the jacket means the jacket (and possibly the book) was issued around 1936. It is possible that Hutchinson printed a large number of titles, and added updated jackets as needed.

The front of the jacket uses shades of red to set off a band with the series name and price (2/6 net) at the top, and author’s name at the bottom. The number of printed copies (11th thousand), illustration, title and a blurb from a review fill the middle of the jacket front. The front jacket flap includes a series of reviews of the book.

The rear of the jacket lists up to #51 in the series, issued in 1936. At least eight more titles were issued after #51. Titles in the series follow. Most are popular fiction and non-fiction, including travel, biography, and literary studies. Despite an engaged search, I could not link series numbers #52, #55, #57 and #59 to actual titles until I acquired the Troup title (which lists all 59 titles in the series).

1. Haworth Parsonage, by Isabel C. Clarke
2. Romance of Empire, by Philip Gibbs
3. The Courtship of Animals, by W.P. Pycraft
4. The Ghost Book, by Cynthia Asquith
5. Passion, Murder and Mystery, by Bruce Graeme
6. Tahiti: Isle of Dreams, by Robert Keable
7. The Three Brontes, by May Sinclair
8. Less Than the Dust, by Joseph Stamper
9. The Jutland Scandal, by Reginald Bacon
10. Henry VIII and His Wives, by Walter Jerrold
11. Beyond Khyber Pass, by Lowell Thomas *
12. Life and Laughter ‘Midst The Cannibals,’ by Clifford W. Collinson
13. Like Shadows on the Wall, by W.B. Maxwell
14. Spook Stories by E.F. Benson
15. Roamin’ In The Gloamin,’ by Sir Harry Lauder
16. With Lawrence In Arabia, by Lowell Thomas
17. The Kasidah Of Haja Abdu El Yezdi, by Admiral Sir Richard F. Burton
18. The Soul Of The War, by Philip Gibbs
19. The Secret Of The Wild, by W.R. Calvert
20. Red Ike, by J. M. Denwood and S. Fowler Wright *
21. Hell’s Angels Of The Deep, by William Guy Carr
22. The Life Of Fred Archer, by E.M. Humphris
23. The Hearts Of Men, by H. Fielding-Hall
24. The First Seven Divisions, by Lord Ernest Hamilton
25. White Man, Brown Woman, by T.L. Richards with T. Stuart Gurr
26. Mata Hari, by Major Thomas Coulson *
27. With A Passport and Two Eyes, by V.C. Buckley
28. Tom-Toms in The Night, by Attilio Gatti
29. Fire-Eater, by Captain A.O. Pollard
30. Collected Sketches and Lyrics, by Noel Coward
31. Knowledge Is Power, by Philip Gibbs
32. Kabluk of the Eskimo, by Lowell Thomas
33. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by Isabel C. Clarke
34. 40, O.B, by Hugh Cleland Hoy
35. Little Tales, by Lion Feuchtwanger
36. Jew Suss, by Lion Feuchtwanger
37. A Traveller in The West Indies, by Owen Rutter
38. Me: A Chronicle About Other People, by Naomi Jacob
39. Victorian Days and Ways, by Mark Edward Perugini
40. The Life of Sir Henry Royce, by Sir Max Pemberton
41. Life of Christina of Sweden, by Alfred Neumann
42. By Guess and by God, by William Guy Carr *
43. Half Way, by Cecil Roberts
44. Confessions and Impressions, by Ethel Mannin
45. We Find Australia, by Charles H. Holmes
46. Tickets, Please, by V.C. Buckley
47. Me-Again, by Naomi Jacob
48. Stop and Go, by V.C. Buckley
49. The Pirate Wind, by Owen Rutter
50. Confessions of a Capitalist, by Sir Ernest J.P. Benn
51. Realities of War, by Philip Gibbs (1936)
52. Clansman, by Ethel Boileau (1936)
53. Life of Winston Churchill, by “Ephesian” (Carl Eric Bechhofer Roberts) (1941)
54. Escape to Prison, by Robert Elliott Burns (1939)
55. I Knew Them All, by Trevor Wignall (1938)
56. A Guide to English Architecture, by Claude John Wilson Messent (1941)
57. The Brains Trust, ed. by Howard Thomas (1942)
58. Return to Reason, by Geoffrey Bourne (1942)
59. On the Bridge, by James Andrew Gardiner Troup (1945)

Bindings are in heavy woven oatmeal-colored cloth with the book title and author included on the spine and front of the book. The series name is included at the bottom of the book’s spine.

The half-title page:

A list of additional titles by the same author faces the title page. The title page again repeats the number of titles printed.

There is no date in the book. The copyright page indicates “Printed in Great Britain at the Anchor Press, Tiptree, Essex.

Reviews for another title by author W.B. Maxwell face a four-page, two-color series catalog. The catalog was created early in the series and still includes the original (2/- vs 2/6) price. The first page of the catalog describes the series as having a more diverse selection than other similarly priced series. The design of the book and jackets are noted.

The catalog lists titles in the series through #13. Each entry includes a review or blurb about the title.

The final page of the catalog:

The final book in the Booklover’s Library, #59, was published in 1945, and fittingly for the time, is a book on ship navigation (in its second edition). Sir James A.G. Troup’s On The Bridge was originally published in 1934 by Rich and Cowan, Ltd. This second edition was reprinted after 1945, the latest in WorldCat is a 1952 edition (which indicates it is in the Booklover’s Library). This seems to be the only title in the Booklover’s Library reprinted after 1945.

The jacket for this title is the same as the Maxwell title above, except that the inclusion of “21 Unique Maps” is noted on the jacket spine. Also, “The Proceeds of the sale of this book are being devoted to the Royal Naval Benevolent Society” is included on the front of the jacket. The price on the front jacket flap is 5/- net, up from the much cheaper 2/6 net on the Maxwell title published in the mid-1930s. This is probably due to the 21 tipped-in maps in the back of this otherwise short (76 page) book.

The copyright page does include a date, unlike the Maxwell title above. “Printed in Great Britain at the Anchor Press, Tiptree, Essex, 1945.”

The last of the 21 “unique maps” that fold out, all tipped-into the rear of the book. Very few publisher’s reprint titles include such tipped-in pages, due to the cost (the only other example I recall are several of the atlases published in Everyman’s Library).