Cabinet Library

aka/ Unwin’s Cabinet Library

T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1923-1927
Size: 4.5″ x 7″

“Cabinet Library” has been long used as a series name, in particular before 1860 for series in the UK and US. Unwin’s Cabinet Library was a series of literary reprints first issued in 1923. The series adds its last title in 1927. Several authors have multiple titles in the series, including Mark Rutherford, Joseph Conrad, Robert W. Service, and H.G. Wells. These runs of titles seem to have also been marketed as the “Works Of” or “Poems Of” these authors.

An advertisement from 1923 (The Bookman, vol. 65, p. 73) lists the initial 11 titles in the series, and indicates that titles were available in cloth (3s./6d.) and leather (5s.):


Robert Service’s Rhymes of a Rolling Stone has a 1926 publication date, printed near the end of the Cabinet Library series. Jackets are plain brown with minimal decoration. The spine has the most graphic elements and includes a logo for the series, the series number (18 in this case) and a price (3/6) for the cloth edition. The series numbers are only shown on the jacket spines.

The jacket also indicates “The Poems of Robert Service” – this book served as part of that collection as well as part of the Cabinet Library series.

Leather bound editions were also available. The front jacket flap lists titles in the series. 47 titles in all are listed on the jacket. They are not numbered, but seem to be arranged in series order (see a numbered list of all titles below). The last published title in the series seems to be Gissing’s Sleeping Fires (published in 1927).


The list of titles in the series continues on the rear flap. Gissing’s Sleeping Fires is listed last and uses a slightly different font than the other titles (suggesting it was tacked on before the jacket was printed).


The 46 titles issued between 1923 and 1927 in Unwin’s Cabinet Library are listed below. The series numbers for 1-11 are taken from the advertisement above; the Service title above is #18; the final title in the series, Sleeping Fires, is #46 according to WorldCat. The titles are listed, below, in the order shown on the jacket above, and, given the 13 known series numbers, I’ve interpolated the rest of the series numbers.

1. The Autobiography of Mark Rutherford
2. The Deliverance, by Mark Rutherford
3. The Revolution in Tanner’s Lane, by Mark Rutherford
4. Miriam’s Schooling, by Mark Rutherford
5. Catharine Furze, by Mark Rutherford
6. Clara Hopgood, by Mark Rutherford (also, part of Novels of Mark Rutherford)
7. Dreams, by Olive Schreiner
8. The Ghost Ship, by Richard Middleton
9. Almayer’s Folly, by Joseph Conrad
10. An Outcast of the Islands, by Joseph Conrad (also, part of The Works of Joseph Conrad)
11. Tales of Unrest, by Joseph Conrad (#11; also, part of The Works of Joseph Conrad)
12. Some Emotions And A Moral, by John Oliver Holmes
13. Mademoiselle Ixe, by Lanoe Falconer
14. Memories of Mark Rutherford, by Sir William Robertson Nicoll
15. The Arrow of Gold, by Joseph Conrad
16. Songs of a Sourdough, by Robert W. Service
17. Ballads of A Cheechako, by Robert W. Service
18. Rhymes of A Rolling Stone, by Robert W. Service
19. The Rhymes of A Red Cross Man, by Robert W. Service
20. Ballads of A Bohemian, by Robert W. Service
21. The Blue Lagoon, by H. de Vere Stacpoole
22. Ann Veronica, by H.G. Wells
23. The Land of Heart’s Desire, The Countess Cathleen, by W.B. Yeats
24. The Ipane, by R. B. Cunninghame-Graham
25. The Story Of An African Farm, by Olive Schreiner
26. In a Corner Of Asia, by Sir Hugh Clifford
27. Trooper Peter Halket Of Mashonaland, by Olive Schreiner
28. The Rover, by Joseph Conrad
29. Uncanny Tales, by F. Marion Crawford
30. The Coming Of The Friars, by the Rev. Augustus Jessoff, D.D.
31. Downland Echoes, by Victor L. Whitechurch
32. The Kiltartan History Book, by Lady Gregory
33. The Song Of Tiadatha, by Owen Rutter
34. The History Of Mr. Polly, by H.G. Wells
35. Kipps, by H.G. Wells
36. The New Machiavelli, by H.G. Wells
37. The Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells
38. The Food Of The Gods, by H.G. Wells
39. The Stolen Bacillus, by H.G. Wells
40. Tono-Bungay, by H.G. Wells
41. The First Men in the Moon, by H.G. Wells
42. Love and Mr. Lewisham, by H.G. Wells
43. The Sleeper Awakes, by H.G. Wells
44. Twelve Stories And A Dream, by H.G. Wells
45. In The Days Of The Comet, by H.G. Wells
46. Sleeping Fires, by George Gissing (#46, 1927)

Plasticized cloth material is used for the binding, as well as gold typography, including a signature of the author.


Cardstock endpapers with a marbled pattern are used.


The half-title page:


A selected list of titles in the series faces the title page. It has about a third of the titles listed on the jacket itself.


Impressions of the title since its first English edition in 1913 are listed on the copyright page.