Discussion Books

T. Nelson & Sons Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1938-1967
Size: 5″ x 7.5″


Nelson’s Discussion Books “bring to the ordinary reader provocative surveys or current topics” according to an advertisement (The Fortnightly Review, 1947). The series was edited by Dr. Richard Wilson and A.J.J. Ratcliff. The series of commissioned titles received favorable reviews when issued and reached 80 titles by 1947. Reprints are evident through the 1960s but no new titles seem to have been issued after 1947.

The jacket and book design for the Discussion Books series remained the same throughout the several decades it was available. R.W. Firth’s Human Types is an “Autumn 1938” first printing in the series (and first edition, as it is not a reprint). The book is one of the first and more accessible texts on social anthropology. Jacket designs are common to the series, with a stylized hammering guy logo on the spine and jacket front. Besides green, jackets were printed in red, purple, blue and black. The series number (in this case 11) is printed on the jacket front. A summary of the book, along with its price (2s./6d.) is also included on the front flap.


The first 45 titles (not 30, as indicated) are listed on the rear of the jacket, with 20 more in active preparation. A blurb about the series and suggestions for who might want to read them are included on the rear flap.


The books have a cloth binding with minimal white stamping. Besides green, binding colors include black, red and blue.


The half title page includes the series name, editors, book title and series number.


The one image in the book faces the title page. The title page includes a fist-pounding graphic. The book is illustrated with maps and diagrams.


The copyright page includes the date of publication.