Fortune Play Books

Robert Holden & Co. Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1926-1927

“The series is edited by Mr. G. B. Harrison, also editor of the Bodley Head Quartos. The two latest volumes are The Knight of the Burning Pestle and Every Man in his Humour. They are furnished with adequate stage-directions and vocabularies and are delightfully printed and bound. (The London Mercury, Volume 15, 1926)

As with other Robert Holden & Co. Ltd. series issued around the same time, The Fortune Play Books included only a small number of titles. In this case, four books published in 1926 and 1927. A few titles appear with 1925 dates, but the first advertisements for the series were published in 1926. Series numbers are not indicated in or on the book or jacket but appear in advertisements. All titles are classic plays, edited with stage directions with an explanation of obscure vocabularies.

#1: Every Man in his Humour, by Ben Jonson.
#2: The Knight of the Burning Pestle, 
by Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher

#3: The Honourable History of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, by Robert Greene.
#4: The Shoemaker’s Holiday; or, A pleasant Comedy of the Gentle Craft, by Thomas Dekker

Jackets are common to the series, printed on heavy orange paper. The spine includes the author, title, series name and price (5/- net). The jacket front includes the series name title and author in a box, followed by a quote, followed by a boxed paragraph describing the series. The front jacket flap is blank.

The series and other publisher titles are included on the rear of the jacket. The rear jacket flap is blank.

Sturdy brown and black quarter bindings cover the books:

A very basic half-title page:

Additional works written or edited by the series editor are listed facing the title page. The series name tops the title page, which also includes the title, author, editor of the book. The Holden imprint, a lovely lamp of knowledge, includes the date of publication (1927)

The copyright page includes a statement that the book was “Printed in Great Britain at the Westminster Press.”

The Westminster Press is also indicated on the last printed page in the book.

The book’s endpapers are blank, but a red star is stamped on the back endpapers. This typically means the book was a remainder copy.