Cottage Library

Macmillan & Co. Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1928-1944
Size: 6¼” x 4″

Apparently, the cottage evokes an image that sellers of reprint series books sought for their collections of books. Series with variations on the Cottage Library name include:

Cottage Library (ca. 1850-1873), Milner and Sowerby (Halifax & London, UK)
Parlor & Cottage Library (ca. 1861-1886), D. & J. Sadlier & Co (New York, US)
Cottage Library (ca. 1865), Bunce and Huntington (New York, US)
Cottage Library (ca. 1883), Boston: S.E. Cassino & Co. (Boston, US)
Artisan’s Cottage Library (ca. 1888), James Askew & Sons (Preston, UK)

cottage_djsnip_1933Macmillan’s Cottage Library consisted of about 50 titles published from 1928-1944. Many are modern, copyright fiction from Macmillan’s back catalog with some older fiction, plays, and poems. The series is less scholarly and academic than Macmillan’s Golden Treasury Series and Pocket Library and New Pocket Classics and similar to their Caravan Library (which ceased publication around 1929).

Unlike Macmillan’s more scholarly series, the jackets have a design unique to each title. Oddly, there is much variation in the jacket designs and bindings for the four titles shown here (1933, 1935, and two from 1939). A 1933 title (first printing in the series) jacket has the price on the spine (3/6) and a blank jacket flap.


The back of the jacket includes a list of titles and prices, 2s. for the regular binding and 2s./6d. for faux-leather (the prices don’t match with the price on the jacket spine).


The binding material is a heavy pressed cardboard. The books themselves contain the series name as well as copyright information, initial printings of the titles and Cottage Library printing dates.


1935 Walpole title (first printing in the series) jacket has the price on the spine (2/-) and a blank jacket flap. The general design of the jacket is different from the 1933 title. The jacket design may have been borrowed from the original jacket design for the book.


The back of the 1935 jacket also includes the list of titles, somewhat expanded from the earlier jacket, in the series.


The binding is different from the 1933 book, stamped cloth.


Two 1939 printings from near the end of the series indicate a bit more design coherence but still have significant differences. A 1939 copy of Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (first printing in series, 1935) has illustrations related to the book on the jacket front and spine. A price on the spine has been covered with a sticker. New volumes in the series are now listed on the front jacket flap.


A catalog of series titles, expanded from 1935, is on the back of the jacket. Prices remain the same.


The binding is similar to the 1935 Walpole book.


This copy of the book includes a series catalog in the back, on the last few pages.



A price tag from Morgan’s Department Store (Montreal, Canada) shows the price of the book as .70 cents (Canadian).


A second 1939 printing has a different jacket spine design. The new titles on the front jacket flap are the same as the previous 1939 title. Price is included on the spine and at 3s./6p. differs from the price (2s.) on the list of titles on the jacket.


The rear jacket catalog is also the same as the other 1939 jacket.


The binding of the book is different for a 1939 first printing of this title in the series. The design is like the 1933 title (above) and the pressed cardboard is similar in color but, when tilted, has a wavy reflective pattern somewhat akin to keritol bindings (the patterns are not evident in the photo below).