Fitzroy Library

The Cresset Press Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1936
Size: 5.25″ x 7.5″

Revised 5/26/2023

Originating in 1927 and specializing in expensive, illustrated limited-edition books, the Cresset Press began publishing more broadly in the mid-1930s as the demand for expensive, limited editions waned.

The Fitzroy Library, named after the location of the Cresset Press (Fitzroy Square in London), began the year after the publisher’s Cresset Library.

I’ve found almost no mentions of the Fitzroy Library series in contemporary publications, and very few copies appear on used book sites. Six titles were announced, and I can find evidence that five were published, all in 1936. No titles appear under the series name in WorldCat (likely because there is no mention of the series on or in the books themselves).

H.G. Wells’ The Anatomy of Frustration was published the same year as this Fitzroy Library edition (1936) – which seems a bit peculiar (it’s possible that this late title by Wells was not well received).

Jackets are common to the series, in orange and black. The spine contains the title and author. The jacket front the series name, author, title, and publisher information. The front jacket flap blurbs the title (and author) and includes the price (2s. 6d. net).

As Wells’ book was first published in 1936 and also included in the Fitzroy Library that year, I can’t get a sense of how many Fitzroy Library copies are in libraries (via WorldCat). The other titles seem to have remarkably low numbers (indicated below). I can’t find definite evidence that the final title (Kirkham’s Unrest of their Time) was published in 1936 in the Fitzroy Library (I do find a small number of 1935 original editions). The Fitzroy Library seems to be comprised of books with little (or no) interest among libraries and readers in the late 1930s.

The Anatomy of Frustration by H.G. Wells
The Clown and Mrs. Fellows by Marjorie Jeans (9 copies in WorldCat)
Flowering Nettle by Harry Martinson (8 copies in WorldCat)
Bright Ghost by Joseph Edward Braddock (1 copy in WorldCat)
Parents & Children, An Anthology by Hugh Kingsmill (17 copies in WorldCat)
*Unrest of Their Time by Nellie Kirkham (0 copies in WorldCat)

*possibly not published in the series

The blurbing (from the front jacket flap) continues on the rear jacket flap. The back of the jacket list six titles, which seem to be the entirety of the Fitzroy Library, all issued in 1936.

Bindings are pale blue-grey cloth with title, author, and publisher. There is no mention of the Fitzroy Library on or in the book.

Blank endpapers:

The half-title page:

An overwhelming list of H.G. Wells’ publications faces the title page. The title page includes the title, author, publisher, and year of publication (1936).

On the verso of the title page: “Printed in England by the Shenval Press.”