Clifford Library

Longmans, Green & Co. (London, UK; New York, US, Toronto, CA)
Series dates: 1947-1949
Size: 6.75″ x 4.5″

Longmans’ Clifford Library was named after the street upon which the firm was located after WW2. Much like their Cygnet Books series, the Clifford Library consisted of books which were also part of other Longmans series, including the Heritage of Literature series (1934-1965), Essential English Library (1946-1962), and English Heritage Series (1929-1958). All were aimed at the school market, and many were edited by school headmasters. These series were an iconic part of British education from the 1930s through the 1960s and formed the core of Longman’s educational catalog.

Clifford Library titles, at least those I’ve seen, do not indicate the series in or on the book itself, thus this is a series in jacket alone. Longmans could simply put a different jacket, with a different series name, on the same book sold as part of two or three different series.

This copy of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick’s dog story Jock of the Bushveld is a “concise edition” first published in this format in 1949. The book itself went through at least a dozen Longmans editions from 1907 to 1991. The jackets for the Clifford Library series are common to the series. The series name is included on the jacket spine with the book title and publisher. The series name and Longmans’ colophon along with the book title and author are included on the front of the dust jacket. A stylized “CL” is patterned over the jacket front. The front jacket flap indicates the price (5/- net) and “For description of this book see back of jacket.” Actually, there is no description of the book on the back fo the jacket.

The back of the jacket does not, as indicated on the front jacket flap, describe the book. Instead, a general blurb about the series is included. The rear jacket flap is blank except for “Printed in Great Britain.”

There are at least 12 titles in the Clifford Library series, published between 1947 and 1949. All, except Jock of the Bushveld, can be found in other Longmans smaller-format series of the same era:

*Jim Davis, by John Masefield (1947)
*The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan (1947)
*The Kingmaker: A Play in Three Acts, by Margaret Luce (1948)
* **The Lady with a Lamp: A Play, by Reginald Berkeley (1948)
*The Art of the Essayist, by C.H. Lockitt (1949)
*Contemporary Verse, by M. Evans & K.C. Lawson (1949)
***Cricket, by Neville Cardus (1949)
***The Face of England, by Edmund Blunden (1949)
Jock of the Bushveld, by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (1949)
*Modern Prose, by R.W. Jepson (1949)
*Short Stories of the Past, by C.H. Lockitt
*Short Stories of the 20th Century, by R.W. Jepson (1949)

* Also published in Longmans Heritage of Literature series
** Also published in Longmans Essential English Library
*** Also published in Longmans English Heritage Series

Plain black cloth binding with gold typography.

The half-title page:

The title page of this “concise edition.”

The Longmans’ imprint is followed by the statement that “This concise edition, first published 1949, contains a number of the original drawings by E. Caldwell.” Also: “Printed in Great Britain by Northumberland Press Limited, Gateshead on Tyne.”