Golden Dragon Library

Lincoln MacVeagh / The Dial Press (New York, US)
Series dates: 1929-1931
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

Routledge & Sons (Routledge, Kegan & Paul) (London, UK)
Series dates: 1928-1930

golden_drag_logoThe Golden Dragon Library was published by Routledge in the UK and The Dial Press in the US in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and included six titles, mostly translations.

Dial Press’ Lincoln MacVeagh was a polymath of sorts, speaking half a dozen languages fluently, serving as a Major in WW1, after which he served as a director at Henry Holt & Co. In 1923 he left Holt and established the Dial Press in the same building as Scofield Thayer’s The Dial Magazine and the two publishing efforts were coordinated. MacVeagh sold the Dial Press in 1933 before accepting the position of American minister to Greece. After WW2 MacVeagh played a significant role in shaping the Truman Doctrine. He engaged in archaeology while in Greece in the post-WW2 era, wrote children’s books, and served as ambassador to Portugal and Spain in the 1950s. Dial Press was partially acquired by Dell Publishing in 1963 and eventually ended up as an imprint of Random House.

The Golden Dragon Library, a blurb on the rear of the jacket proclaims, “marks a new departure in publishing.”

“This series represents an attempt to cull from the vast literature of the East the best of those lighter masterpieces of the art of storytelling in which the East excels, and to make them available, as they have never been made available before, to the general reader.”

This copy of Joseph Delteil‘s The Porcelain Junk was published in 1929 and was among the initial four titles in the series. Jackets are printed on heavy gold-colored paper with green ink. The jackets are common in design throughout the series. The series name is indicated on the front of the jacket. A summary of the book along with the price ($2.50) is included on the front jacket flap.


Another title in the series, The Wiles of Women, is advertised on the rear jacket flap. A prospectus for the series and list of the first four titles is on the back of the jacket.


Gold type on green cloth binding repeats the dragon images and typography from the jacket.


The two-color half-title page with the series name and editor, C. Egerton.


The dual colors continue with the first four titles in the series facing the title page. The title page includes the dates in Roman numerals (1929).


The translator, Paul Courtney is indicated on the copyright page, along with text indicating the book was printed in England. Routledge probably arranged the printing of the series and copies with the MacVeagh imprint, which were shipped to the US.


The six titles in the series are listed below with the Dial Press printing dates and Routledge printing dates (which tend to be the year prior to the Dial Press titles).

1929 (1928, Routledge): The Book of the Marvels of India, Buzurg ibn Shahriyar; L. Marcel Devic & Peter Quennell (translators).

1929 (1928, Routledge): The Wiles of Women, J. A. Decourdemanche (editor and translator).

1929 (1928, Routledge): The Porcelain Junk, Joseph Delteil; Paul Courtney (translator).

1929 (1928, Routledge): The Shoji, Kikou Yamata.

1930: The Tale of Pomegranate-Flower and The Bridge of Baghdad. Two Stories from The Thousand Nights and One Night, E. Powys Mathers (translator).

1931 (1930, Routledge): The Tragedy of Ah Qui and Other Modern Chinese Stories, J. B. Kyn Yn Yu & E. H. F. Mills (translators).