Golden Treasury Series

Macmillan & Co. Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1862-2001
Size: 6¼” x 4″

golden_treas_logo_1905Macmillan’s Golden Treasury Series began in 1862, inspired by (and as a way to capitalize upon) the success of Francis Palgrave’s Golden Treasury anthology (1861), a surprise bestseller for Macmillan upon its release. This particular title continued to sell well (and spawned many related anthologies) over the next century (documented in Marvin Spevack’s “The Golden Treasury: 150 Years On.”) In June of 1862 10,000 Golden Treasury Series prospectuses were printed and distributed and 13,500 more were printed over the next five months (McKitterick, 1998, A History of Cambridge University Press: Volume 2, p. 397). An advertisement (below, left) from the Saturday Review (August 16, 1862) details the first three titles in the series and forthcoming titles.

golden_treas_ad_1862    golden_treas_ad_1863

An advertisement (above) for the series from the American Literary Gazette and Publishers’ Circular (Feb 2, 1863).

An advertisement (below) in the American Literary Gazette and Publishers’ Circular (Oct 15, 1863) indicates that the publisher Sever & Francis (Cambridge, MA, US) is the American publisher of the Golden Treasury Series (at $1.75), and that a companion series, The Golden Treasury Juvenile (at 1.25), will be available in November of 1863. Sever & Francis was publishing the series at least until 1869.


The early success of the Golden Treasury Series was noted in a review article in the American Literary Gazette and Publishers’ Circular (Mar 2, 1863):


By 1866 the Golden Treasury Series was also being published in the US by J.B. Lippincott & Co. according to this advertisement in the American Literary Gazette and Publishers’ Circular (Dec 1, 1866):


By 1869 Macmillan had established itself in New York and began publishing the Golden Treasury Series itself. This advertisement is from the American Literary Gazette and Publishers’ Circular (Oct 1, 1869):


golden_treas_Mlogo_1920A jacket from a 1905 second printing (first printing, 1900) title in the Golden Treasury Series is common in design with a Pan logo. Other jackets of this era have a decorative “M” logo (left). Price (3/5) along with the “M” logo is also printed on the jacket spine.


The back of the jacket includes some of the titles in the series along with binding options: 5s. for select titles bound in leather, with gilt edges, at a size of “Pott 8vo,” (6¼” x 4″). 3s./6d. for the regular binding (“Extra Cloth” – colored book cloth binding material).


The blue “extra cloth” binding has gold stamping and the Pan logo centered on the front cover. The book’s title page (helpfully) includes the date of printing (1905) and the verso includes information on the first (in this case, 1900) and subsequent printings.


A 1946 copy of A Treasury of Seventeenth Century English Verse shows a redesigned, but still simple, commonly designed jacket with the Pan logo. The “M” logo on the spine has been simplified and the price (now 4s./6d.) is moved to a more clippable place on the jacket flap.


The rear of the jacket contains a selected set of titles from the series.


The binding seems to be the same as the 1905 title above, although the stamped image of Pan is worn (suggesting many printings). Date of printing is, as with the 1905 title, indicated on the title page and all printings are indicated on its verso (in this case, First Edition 1919, Reprinted, with alterations, 1920, Reprinted 1926, 1931, 1942, 1946).


WorldCat lists titles in the series published as late as 2001.