Crowell’s Poets

aka/Crowell’s Poets Thin Paper Edition
aka/Crowell’s Thin Paper Poets

Thomas Y. Crowell Co. (New York, US)
Series dates: 1884-1933
Size: 5″ x 7″

Update 6/14/2024

Crowell’s Poets is a catch-all term for an extensive group of sub-series and binding variations published by Crowell from about 1876 to the early 1930s. I can find a series simply called “Crowell’s Poets” advertised in a few periodicals and books in 1884. The last advertisements I’ve found are from 1933. The series consists of a collection of poets common to many similar series, offered in many different binding styles over the 50 or so years the series was available.

The Lucile Project includes documentation on Crowell’s Poets, documenting in delightful detail the many sub-series that varied in name, “edition,” and binding style (200 different formats are noted between 1876 and 1931). By the 1920s, when the title here was available, it seems that all these variations may have collapsed into a single series of boxed titles called Crowell’s Poets.

The copy of Robert Browning’s poems below is likely from the early or mid-1920s, despite the 1896 copyright in the book. The book is boxed, with a red cover and sides to the lid and a label on the side identifying the title and series name. This particular binding is Morocco Grain Leather, which is likely faux leather made of agglomerated leather particles. The paper used in the book is “thin” or bible paper, which was commonly used in such series to create cheaper and more compact editions.

The top of the box with the side label:

The side label includes an icon stating “Genuine Leather TYC Co.” I can’t find any information on the TYC Co.

The title in the bottom half of the box (sitting on the box top):

The back of the box lists titles currently available in the series. The titles in the series reached over 100 in the early part of the century but were scaled back by the era in which this book was issued (early 1920s).

The leather binding with gold typography:

Faux marbled endpapers:

A few blank pages at the start of the book are great for gift inscriptions. I hope Hamilton enjoyed this book, a gift from Aunt Mary Lemon on February 20, 1924. This inscription is useful for dating the book.

A portrait of the esteemed author is separated from the title page by a tissue page, which covers the title page.

The title page:

The (original) copyright year is included (1896).