Carlton Classics

John Long Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1905-1928
Size: 4″ x 6″


“The publishing firm of John Long Ltd. had a long association with Hutchinson and was eventually absorbed into the Hutchinson Group. In the 1920s and 1930s, John Long Ltd was ‘incorporated with’ Hutchinson & Co. By the 1940s it was described as ‘member of the Hutchinson Group,’ and by the 1960s had become ‘an imprint of the Hutchinson Group.’ The name of John Long Ltd. ceased to be used around 1979.” (Firms Out of Business)


The Carleton Classics were a smallish-sized series of at least 48 titles with dates mostly in the 1905-1908 and 1923-1924 time spans. The series was advertised as early as 1903 in a few books published by Long, but the earliest dates in series books are 1905. The series is not advertised after about 1923.

A 1905 advertisement introduces the series and details the quality of the books. By and large, the titles were out-of-copyright classics available in other cheap editions. The quality of the books was, thus, their main selling point. Series editor Hannaford Bennett is mentioned in the advertisement.

The Publishers Circular, April 15, 1905

A 1908 advertisement for the series includes up to 48 titles with a few reviews of the series and details about available bindings: “artistic cloth” and leather. This advertisement indicates that the first 12 titles are bound in decorative paper covers.

From catalog in back of “In the Portion of Jezreel” by J. Leonard Cowper, J.Long, 1908.

This 1923 copy of Macaulay’s Warren Hastings has a common series jacket that includes the series name and price on the jacket spine as well as front. An art-deco stylized publisher logo is also printed on the front of the jacket. The front flap is blank.


The rear of the jacket lists 48 titles. In this case, the titles are not numbered (as they were in the 1908 advertisement, above). It’s possible that the titles issued from 1905-1908 may have had series numbers on the jackets (or in the books). The titles in both 1908 and on this 1923 jacket seem to be identical suggesting the series did not change nor add more titles after the original 48.


The “artistic cloth” bindings are dark green with gold decorations. The book quality is higher than average, with reinforced binding and deckled paper edges.


The half-title page with the series name, book title, and book editor.


A catalog of titles in the series faces the nicely decorated title page. The date of printing of the book is in Roman numerals (1923).


The copyright page:


Long published several other series: Long’s Library of Modern Classics, Long’s Sixpenny Copyright Novels, Long’s Colonial Library, Long’s Popular Novels, and Long’s Haymarket Novels.

The English Masterpieces series, which lists E.F. Hudson Ltd. as the publisher on the dust jacket, is merely a repackaging of remaindered Carlton Classics books, purchased by Hudson in 1930 when the Carlton Classics were discontinued.

The jacket outside and inside are shown below. Click on each for more titles. The rear of the jacket listing the English Masterpieces is the same as the final Carlton Classics list of titles.



A tissue paper jacket is under the Hudson jacket, both over a Long-published Carlton Classics title. See the entry under English Masterpieces for more information on this recycled series.