Gateway Library

Methuen & Co., Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1929-1940
Size: 4.5″ x 7″

Methuen’s Gateway Library is closely related to their Modern Masterpieces series, in essence, many of the same titles sold in two different series. Both comprise copyright essays, fiction and a bit of history and natural history from Methuen’s back catalog. The Gateway Library was first advertised in 1929. In many instances, it seems that titles were issued in the Gateway Library a year or so after their initial publication by Methuen. The Gateway Library reached 142 titles (see the list at the end of this entry), the last issued in 1938. The last reprint I’ve seen is dated 1940.

Ad for Methuen's Gateway Library from The Times (London, England), Friday, May 17, 1929; pg. 19.
Ad for Methuen’s Gateway Library from The Times (London, England), Friday, May 17, 1929; pg. 19.

This 1933 edition of Lucas’ Landmarks shows a simple, common jacket design with the series name indicated on both the spine and top front of the jacket. A summary of the title is on the front flap. Price, indicated on the spine, is 3s/6d. This jacket was replaced by an illustrated jacket in later 1933.


The back of the jacket urges the viewer to see the reverse of the jacket for a list of titles in the series.


Titles in the series are printed on the inside of the jacket. Many of these titles are also in the Modern Masterpieces series.


Bindings are identical to bindings in the Modern Masterpieces series from the same time. More or less, Methuen was repackaging the same books in different series. Sheets for the books are printed and warehoused. As needed, the sheets are pulled, a new title page and, possibly, a catalog is added, then bound and jacketed. In the case of the Modern Masterpieces and Gateway Library, the series title is on the jacket and possibly the first few pages of the book. Ultimately, this seems to be a way to maximize flexibility, to not get stuck with too many bound books (for poorly selling titles) or to maximize sales if a particular book in a particular series seems to be selling well.


The half title page includes the series name. This page, along with the catalog at the back and jacket would be printed and added to the sheets for the already printed book (which has no indication of the series or library the book is from).


Additional titles by the author are listed facing the title page.


The copyright and printing information faces the index, reverse the title page.


An illustrated jacket design for the series is seen below on E.V. Knox’s Slight Irritations. This book was originally published in 1931, and published in the Gateway Library series in 1933. Later in 1933 seems to be the best guess as to the introduction of this illustrated jacket style.

Printed on red paper, this jacket design remains common to the series, with an illustration of a gent dwarfed by a large gateway. This gateway becomes the series colophon. The series name, book title, author, price (3/6), colophon and publisher are included on the jacket spine. The front jacket flap is similar to the book above (Landmarks) with a blurb about the book.

The rear of the jacket is the same as with Landmarks, above, and the rear jacket flap is also blank.

The verso of the dust jacket lists titles in the series at the time of printing (1933). There are 3 new titles on this list that are not on the similar list for Landmarks (above). An additional 6 titles would be added to the list after this jacket was issued.

Book design remains the same, this time in blue cloth.

The half-title page includes the series name.

A list of titles by the same author faces the title page.

The copyright page includes the initial publication of the book (1931) and is initial (second edition) printing in the Gateway Library series (1933). The book is printed in Great Britain.

An annotated catalog for the series is included at the end of the book. A title page for the catalog is followed by 15 pages of the catalog. Some, but not all titles have accompanying brief blurbs about the books.

A complete (as I can manage at the moment) list of 142 titles in Methuen’s Gateway Library. Given titles listed in Slight Irritations but not in Landmarks, I date the introduction of the illustrated jacket style to later in 1933.

The Gateway Library
“The Most Companionable Books”

Anthony Armstrong, Selected Warriors
Sir Graham Balfour, The Life Of Robert Louis Stevenson
Hilaire Belloc, Hills and The Sea
Hilaire Belloc, On
Hilaire Belloc, On Anything
Hilaire Belloc, On Everything
Hilaire Belloc, On Something
Hilaire Belloc, On Nothing
Hilaire Belloc, First and Last
Hilaire Belloc, This and That and the Other
Hilaire Belloc, A Picked Company
Hilaire Belloc, Emmanuel Burden, Merchant
Arnold Bennett, A Great Man: A Frolic
Arnold Bennett, Anna Of The Five Towns
Arnold Bennett, Buried Alive
Arnold Bennett, The Card
Arnold Bennett, The Gates of Wrath
Arnold Bennett, The Regent
Arnold Bennett, The Truth About An Author
Arnold Bennett, Teresa Of Watling Street
Arnold Bennett, Whom God Hath Joined
E.F. Benson, Dodo: A Detail Of The Day
George A. Birmingham, Ships and SealingWax
George A. Birmingham, Spillikins
Marjorie Bowen, The Quest Of Glory
Ernest Bramah, The Wallet Of Kai Lung
Sir F.C. Burnand, Happy Thoughts
G.K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men
G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions
**G.K. Chesterton, All I Survey (1934)
G.K. Chesterton, All is Grist
G.K. Chesterton, All Things Considered
**G.K. Chesterton, Avowals and Denials (1938)
G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad Of The White Horse
G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens
G.K. Chesterton, Come to Think of It …
G.K. Chesterton, Fancies Versus Fads
G.K. Chesterton, The Flying Inn
G.K. Chesterton, Generally Speaking
G.K. Chesterton, The Outline Of Sanity
G.K. Chesterton, The Uses Of Diversity
G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
A. Clutton-Brock, Essays On Books
A. Clutton-Brock, Essays On Life
A. Clutton-Brock, Essays On Literature and Life
Joseph Conrad, A Set Of Six
Joseph Conrad, Chance: A Tale In Two Parts
Joseph Conrad, The Mirror Of The Sea
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent : A Simple Tale
Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes
Joseph Conrad, Victory: An Island Tale
George Crabbe, Selections From The Poems Of George Crabbe
J.H. Curle, The ShadowShow
G. Lowes Dickinson, The Greek View Of Life
**Tickner Edwardes, The Lore of the Honey-bee (1933)
George Gissing, The Crown Of Life
George Gissing, The Town Traveller
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows
*Gerald Gould, All About Women (1933)
Gerald Gould, The Musical Glasses
Gerald Gould, The Return To The Cabbage
A.P. Herbert, The House By The River
A.P. Herbert, The Secret Battle
W.H. Hudson, A Shepherd’s Life
Rudyard Kipling, A Kipling Anthology: Verse
E.V. Knox, Awful Occasions
E.V. Knox, Gorgeous Times
E.V. Knox, It Occurs To Me
E.V. Knox, Quaint Specimens
*E.V. Knox, Slight Irritations (1933)
E.V. Knox, Things That Annoy Me
E.V. Knox, This Other Eden
E.V. Knox, Wonderful Outings
Ronald A. Knox, On Getting There
**Wilfred Rooke Ley, Promenade (1935)
Jack London, White Fang
E.V. Lucas, A Fronded Isle
E.V. Lucas, A Rover I Would Be
E.V. Lucas, Advisory Ben
E.V. Lucas, At The Sign Of The Dove
E.V. Lucas, Character and Comedy
E.V. Lucas, Down The Sky
E.V. Lucas, Encounters and Diversions
E.V. Lucas, Events and Embroideries
E.V. Lucas, Fireside and Sunshine
E.V. Lucas, The Friendly Town
E.V. Lucas, Genevra’s Money
E.V. Lucas, Giving and Receiving
E.V. Lucas, Good Company
E.V. Lucas, Her Infinite Variety
E.V. Lucas, Landmarks
E.V. Lucas, Listener’s Lure
E.V. Lucas, Loiterer’s Harvest
E.V. Lucas, London Lavender
E.V. Lucas, Luck Of The Year
E.V. Lucas, Mr. Ingleside
E.V. Lucas, Old Lamps For New
E.V. Lucas, One Day and Another
E.V. Lucas, Over Bemerton’s
E.V. Lucas, Rose and Rose
E.V. Lucas, The Gentlest Art
E.V. Lucas, The Second Post
E.V. Lucas, Traveller’s Luck
E.V. Lucas, Turning Things Over
E.V. Lucas, Visibility Good
E.V. Lucas, Windfall’s Eve
Robert Lynd, It’s A Fine World
*Robert Lynd, Rain, Rain, Go to Spain
Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion
Robert Lynd, The Goldfish
Robert Lynd, The Green Man
Robert Lynd, The Little Angel
Robert Lynd, The MoneyBox
Robert Lynd, The Orange Tree
Robert Lynd, The Peal Of Bells
Robert Lynd, The Pleasures of Ignorance
Rose Macaulay, A Casual Commentary
John Masefield, A Sailor’s Garland
A.A. Milne, By Way Of Introduction
A.A. Milne, If I May
A.A. Milne, Mr. Pim Passes By
A.A. Milne, Not That It Matters
A.A. Milne, Once A Week
A.A. Milne, The Day’s Play
A.A. Milne, The Holiday Round
A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery
A.A. Milne, The Sunny Side
C.E. Montague, A Hind Let Loose
Arthur Morrison, Tales Of Mean Streets
Eden Phillpotts, The Secret Woman
Marmaduke Pickthall, Said The Fisherman
J. B. Priestley, Apes and Angels
J. B. Priestley, The Balconinny
Charles G.D. Roberts, The Heart Of The Ancient Wood
R. Ellis Roberts, Reading For Pleasure
C. Fox Smith, Sea Songs and Ballads, 1917-1922
R.L. Stevenson, Vailima Letters
**T. Earle Welby, The Dinner Knell (1934)
Oscar Wilde, A House Of Pomegranates
Oscar Wilde, Poems
Oscar Wilde, The Duchess Of Padua
**Oscar Wilde, Vera: or, The Nihilists (1936)

* Not in the list in Landmarks
** Not in the list in Landmarks and Slight Irritations

Paperbound books in the series appear in the late 1930s (right). Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 9.53.00 AM