Golden Anthologies

Routledge & Sons (Routledge, Kegan & Paul) (London, UK)
Series dates: 1905-1908
Size: 6″ x 4″

E.P. Dutton (New York, US)
Series dates: 1905-1908
Size: 6″ x 4″

Revised 6/11/2023

Routledge and Sons (UK) published eight Golden Anthologies from 1905 to 1908. E.P. Dutton published all but one title (Poems of Romance) in the US. One title was announced but not published. The series was edited by G.K.A. Bell who compiled six of the eight titles. The books were originally available in cloth and lambskin covers. The series may have been inspired by the Golden Treasury Series (Macmillan, 1862-2001), which was itself inspired by the mid-19th century hit anthology, The Golden Treasury.

The Book Monthly (London, May 1905, p. 573) announces the series: “Messrs. Routledge & Sons are just beginning the publication of a new series titled “The Golden Anthologies” 1s. and 2s. net. The object of the series is to gather into single volumes the noblest poems over the whole range of English literature on subjects the most familiar as well as the most diverse. The series is being edited by Mr. G.K.A. Bell, the Newdigate Prize winner last year.”

The February 9, 1906 edition of The Publishers’ Circular (London) advertises four titles in the series, along with many additional series being published by Routledge. The price of the Golden Anthologies is 1s. net, cloth, and 2s. net lambskin. No mention is made of a paperbound edition.

The eight (and one announced but not published) titles in the Golden Anthologies:

*** Poems of Love (December 1905)
**** Poems of Nature (July 1906)
**** Poems of Life and Death (December 1906)
**** Poems of Marriage, edited by Percival Vivian (February 1907)
**** Poems of Patriotism (March 1907)
**** Golden Book of Ballads (August 1907)
* Poems of Romance (1907)
The Hundred Best Hymns in the English Language, edited by John Cullen (1908, 1909)
** Vers de Société

*Likely not published in the U.S. by E.P. Dutton, NY
**Announced but not published
*** The English Catalog, 1905
**** The English Catalog, 1906-1910

The copy of Poems of Life and Death below is undated, but the original edition was published by Routledge in December 1906. This copy is clearly paperbound, but paperbound bindings are not advertised (cloth and lambskin only). I’m guessing this is a later reprint Routledge produced, maybe in the 1920s. There is at least one other paperbound title (an anthology that was originally part of the Poets and the Poetry of the Nineteenth Century series) with The Golden Anthologies on the jacket cover (left). This copy (not in my collection) is also paperbound. This title was not part of the Golden Anthologies and was possibly just Routledge getting rid of some unbound sheets from various old series by binding them in paper covers and selling them.

Because this is likely a later reprint, I’m not sure what the jackets on the original Golden Anthology series looked like.

With this jacket, the title is on the top of the spine. It’s possible the series name was at the top of the spine. The price 2/6 and publisher are also indicated. The series name is on the front of the jacket, along with the title and a blurb about the title. The publisher is also indicated. The jacket’s rear and flaps are blank.

The heavy blue paper binding includes only the book name, some additional decorations, and the editor. The publisher is not indicated.

The book does have illustrated endpapers (front and back).

The half-title page includes the series name and editor at the top and title below.

Series titles are listed facing the title page. Missing is the last title published in the series (Hundred Best Hymns). Included is a “ghost title” – Vers de Société – which seems to have not been published. The title page includes the title, editor, a Routledge colophon, and Routledge and Dutton imprints. It’s likely that all books have the Routledge and Dutton imprint on the title page. In this case, Dutton is not on the jacket (see above), and the price is in English currency, so this copy is likely a U.K.-only paperbound issue of this title.

There is no copyright information on the verso of the title page.

“Plymouth: William Brendon and Son, Ltd. Printers”