Buchreihe Unitas

Urban Verlag (Vienna, Austria)
Series dates: 1946
Size: 4.75″ x 7″

Buchreihe Unitas – “Unitas Book Series” – is a bit of a mystery. There seems to be only one title in the series, an English language book with a German (or Austrian) series name and Vienna imprint published in 1946. The publisher, Urban Verlag, appears with various locations in Germany and Austria in the mid and late 20th century, but only one other publication appears on WorldCat with the Vienna location (published in 1971). More or less, this book, series, and publisher is a one-off production.

Only one other series on this site (Doubleday’s Little Golden Books) has a single book in the series.

James Gorden (b. 1912) was a British Army journalist, writing for the British Morning News, which was published by the Allied Commission for Austria, British Element, Political Division, Information Services Branch from 1940-1946. This periodical seems to have been the Britsh equivalent to the U.S. military Stars and Stripes newspaper but apparently was of higher quality and read by a sizable number of Austrians (source). The book contains various stories by Gorden about his experiences in Vienna, possibly based on his writings for the British Morning News. Gordon indicates, in the book, that the British Morning News was forced to publish much less material than hoped due to paper shortages. Thus this book may be material written for the British Morning News that did not make it into that periodical. Gorden published another series of stories about Vienna called Vienna in Pieces (ISB, Vienna, 1948).

The book was illustrated by Franz Plachy, a Viennese artist and illustrator.

The book is paperbound with a dust jacket printed in yellow with the book name and author. A small drawing (no doubt, of a building in Vienna) appears in the upper right-hand corner of the front of the jacket. The spine and front jacket flap are blank.

The back of the jacket and back jacket flap is blank.

The paper binding mimics the dust jacket in design.

The half-title page:

The title page is the only place where the series name appears.

“Copyright reserved

First published in 1946

Illustrated by Franz Plachy

Composed in Bodoni-Antiqua, 10 point, and printed in Vienna by Josef Gerstmayer.”

A dedication to the British Information Services.