Borzoi Classics

Alfred A. Knopf (New York, US)
Series dates: 1922-1930
Size: 8.25″ x 5.5″

First published in 1922, the Borzoi Classics consist of 17 larger-format general classics probably meant to complement the more compact and inexpensive Borzoi Pocket Books, initially issued the following year. The last new title was published in 1929, and the last printing of a title in the series (that I can find) is 1930.

An advertisement in Scribner’s Magazine, Volume 72 (December 1922) announces the series and the firsts five titles. The books were often advertised as a “limited edition” of 3000 copies, and many (but not all) were numbered.

Jackets were printed on different color paper and followed a common jacket design. A typographic device at the top and bottom of the jacket provided the only graphic elements, besides the Borzoi publisher imprint. The spine of the jacket includes the book title, author, a “Borzoi Books” imprint and the publisher. The front of the jacket adds the author of the book’s introduction and the date (in this case, 1926). The front jacket flap lists eight titles in the series along with details for each title including price.

The back of the jacket repeats the design of the front of the jacket but adds a detailed commentary on the book itself. The listing of titles continued from the front jacket flap, continues on the rear jacket flap.

The binding is brown cloth with black typography and graphic elements including the author and title, but excluding the publisher at the base of the spine.

“The First Edition of this Book Consists of Three Thousand Numbered Copies, This is Number” lacks a number, suggesting that the book was reprinted (and not numbered) or someone just forgot to number the book. The half-title page includes the book title.

The title page is in two colors and follows the design of the front of the jacket.

The copyright page includes the date 1926.

A note on the type ends the book:

Titles in the series, organized by the first year of issue, are below.

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Théophile Gautier, Mademoiselle de Maupin
E. & J. de Goncourt, Germinie Lacerteux
Prevost, Manon Lescaut
Émile Zola, Nana (last WorldCat reissue, 1930)

Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Confessions

Daniel Defoe, The Fortunate Mistress
Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
Marguerite of Navarre, The Heptameron
Emile Zola, L’Assommoir

W.H. Hudson, Green Mansions
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
Émile Zola, Germinal

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Boxed set of Zola’s Nana, L’Assommoir, and Germinal (Publishers Weekly, Vol. 114, Part 2, p. 1987)

Casanova’s Memoirs, Translated by Arthur Machen (2 volumes)