Golden Library

Chatto & Windus (London, UK)
Series dates: 1871-1880, 1936-1942
Size: 5.75″ x 8.25″

Chatto & Windus revived the name of their 19th-century series the Golden Library in 1936, setting it off on a run (through 1943) of titles numbered up to #29. Unlike the earlier series, which consisted of a mix of mostly literary classics of the era, the later Golden Library consisted of back catalog titles from the publisher. Early jackets (1936-1941) were common to the series, gold in color and explicitly stated the series name in several places. Titles published in the last few years of the series had unique jackets, possibly reused from the initial printings of the titles, and did not include the series name.

Paul Wagner (Publishing History) provided an advertisement for the (then) new series, published in The Observer (London), 1 March 1936:

A list of titles in the later series, sorted by year and with serial number, are below. I cannot track down the titles associated with one serial number (#25). I also cannot determine if Lytton Strachey, Characters and Commentaries, was a title in the series.

#1: Margaret Irwin, The Proud Servant
#2: Aldous Huxley, Jesting Pilate
#3: Sarah Millin, Rhodes
#4: Richard Adlington, Death of a Hero
#5: Joanna Field, A Life of One’s Own
#6: Julian Huxley, Africa View
#7: Margaret Irwin, Royal Flush
#8: Clive Bell, An Account of French Painting
#9: Aldous Huxley, Beyond the Mexique Bay
#10: Maurice O’Sullivan, Twenty Years A-Growing
#11: Lytton Strachey, Elizabeth and Essex: A Tragic History
#12: Catherine Carswell, The Life of Robert Burns
#13: David Bone, Merchantmen-At-Arms
#14: Angus Graham, The Golden Grindstone

#15: J.R. Ackerley, Hindoo Holiday
#16: James Hanley, The Furys
#17: Frederic Prokosch, The Asiatics
#18: Anne Morrow Lindbergh, North to the Orient
#19: James Hanley, The Secret Journey

#20: David Garnett, Pocahontas
#21: Margaret Irwin, The Stranger Prince
#22: Esther Forbes, Paradise
#23: Peter Keenagh, Mosquito Coast
#24: Frederic Prokosch, The Seven Who Fled
#25: (?)

#26: Marion Millner, An Experiment in Leisure

#27: Margaret Irwin, Knock Four Times
#28: Margaret Irwin, The Bride: the Story of Louise and Montrose

#29: Margaret Irwin, Still She Wished For Company

(#?) Lytton Strachey, Characters and Commentaries

The jacket for Anne Morrow Lindburgh’s North to the Orient below is typical of the first decade of the series. This title is dated 1935 (the original publication year) but was first issued in the Golden Library as #18 in 1937. The series name and serial number are on the jacket spine, as is, probably, a price (here covered by a previous owner’s sticker). The front jacket flap includes the series name with a directive to see additional titles on the back of the jacket.

The back of the jacket includes up and including the Lindburgh title. The price is 5s. per volume. A blurb for the series prefaces the list of titles.

The red cloth binding includes only the author and title, with no other marks. This binding differs from the original binding (which included an airplane on the front of the book).

The endpapers are most likely from the original printing of the book, a map showing the flight described in the book. A sticker from the bookseller is pasted to the lower front endpaper (F.R. Hockliffe, 86, 88 High St., Bedford)

The half-title page with owner information.

The title page with a facing photograph. The 1935 year of publication indicates that this book was likely printed from the original plates, or, possibly, unbound sheets from the first edition were rebound as a Golden Library title.

“:Printed in Great Britain.”

“Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner, Ltd., Frome and London.”

The jacket for Margaret Irwin’s Royal Flush is from a fifth printing (in the series) of the title in 1942. At least three Irwin titles were reprinted in 1942, all with this style of jacket. They seem to be the last titles published in the series. The jackets may have been specific these three of Irwin’s historic romances issued in 1942. It is also possible that this book shares the original jacket and book design with the original edition, with the addition of a page (inside) with the Golden Library series indicated.

With these later jackets, the series name is absent. A sticker on the jacket spine with an 8/6 price seems to be covering text indicating “Cheap Edition.” The front jacket flap is blank except for direction to the rear of the jacket for a description of the book.

The rear of the jacket describes the book, and the rear flap is blank.

Brown cloth bindings with the title and author in a gold printed box on the book spine.

The half-title page includes the series name, serial number, and book title:

Additional titles by Irwin are included on the reverse of the half-title page:

The title page is faced with a frontispiece illustration. The title page includes a Chatto & Windus colophon (which was featured on the front of earlier jackets) as well as the date of printing (1942).

The printing history of the book is included on the copyright page.

Table of contents:

Note on the text:

The first page of text:

The book was printed by T. & A. Constable Ltd., at the University Press Edinburgh.