Hutchinson’s Pocket Library

Hutchinson & Co. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1935-1939
Size: 4.25″ x 7″

Hutchinson’s Pocket Library is among the flurry of paperback offerings issued in response to the popularity of Penguin Books in the mid to late 1930s. Hutchinson was on top of the Penguin explosion quickly, issuing their paperback series in October of 1935, on the heels of Penguin, whose books were first available in July of 1935 (source). The Library consisted of a series of sub-series, individually numbered, as documented at the Brass Penguin site:

Additional information on this collection of related series can be found at Paperback Revolution. A subset of titles from across the Pocket Library subseries was offered as Service Editions.

Stephen McKenna’s Soliloquy was issued in the Novels subseries of Hutchinson’s Pocket Library as #31. Originally published by Hutchinson in the UK in 1921, the Pocket Library title is undated, but appears in Whitaker’s Cumulative Book List in 1937.

Jackets are common to the Novels subseries and follow basic Penguin design principles, with a simple geometric design that defines a look for the series. The spine of the jacket includes the series number, price (6d. net) and publisher (at a jaunty angle). The front of the jacket includes the overarching series name, an indication of copies sold (54th Thousands) since the original publication (in 1921), a large indication of price, and quotes from reviews of McKenna’s books. The reviews continue on the front jacket flap.

The back of the jacket lists titles available in the series, up through #60. Some series numbers are not on the list, suggesting they were out of print. The price is indicated, as is the address of Hutchinson. The rear jacket flap advertises “Seagift” day cream, sold by the Turtle Oil Preparations, Ltd. Turtle oil is made from the shell of sea turtles and was found by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to be falsely advertised in a 1933 decision.

The card binding of the books largely mimics the jacket, without the book price.

There is no free-front-endpaper, and the initial page is the half-title page.

A list of books by McKenna faces the title page. The title page includes the 54th Thousand indicator, and publisher’s imprint.

The copyright page is undated. “Made and Printed in Great Britain by the Anchor Press, Ltd., Tiptree, Essex”

Titles in the series extend to at least 96, with one series number (87) that appears to have not been issued. A few additional titles are listed at the end of the list below. They may be part of the Fiction subseries, or may be part of other subseries. They appear in WorldCat as Hutchinson’s Pocket Library. This list is reproduced from the Brass Penguin site, with some corrections, and the author’s full name. Titles, before #60, marked with an asterisk (*) are not included on the McKenna list of titles in the series.

1. Georgian House, by Frank Swinnerton
2. Spears Against Us, by Cecil Roberts
*3. Roots, by Naomi Jacob
*4. The Stalking Horse, by Rafael Sabatini
5. We Forget Because We Must, by W.B. Maxwell
6. The Street Of Adventure, by Philip Gibbs
7. Hippy Buchan, by Ethel Boileau
8. Humbug, by E.M. Delafield
9. Pantomime, by G.B. Stern
*10. Green Willow, by Ethel Mannin
11. The Fifth Commandment, by H.A. Vachell
*12. Simon Called Peter, by Robert Keable
*13. Props, by Naomi Jacob
14. Sweet Pepper, by Geoffrey Moss
*15. Superstition, by Stephen McKenna
*16. Nocturne, by Frank Swinnerton
17. The Gilded Halo, by Cosmo Hamilton
18. New Wine, by Geoffrey Moss
*19. Out Of Great Tribulation, by H.A. Vachell
*20. Tension, by E.M. Delafield
*21. That Wild Lie, by Naomi Jacob
*22. Life & Adventures Of Sylvia Scarlett (Sylvia & Philip), by Compton MacKenzie
23. The Fire Of Spring, by Ethel Boileau
*24. Sketch Of A Sinner, by Frank Swinnerton
25. The Life & Adventures Of Sylvia Scarlett (Sylvia & Arthur), by Compton MacKenzie
26. The Optomist, by E.M. Delafield
*27. Young Anarchy, by Philip Gibbs
*28. To What Green Altars, by W.B. Maxwell
*29. Harriet Hume, by Rebecca West
30. The Bulpington Of Blup, by H.G. Wells
31. Soliloquy, by Stephen McKenna
32. A Brood Of Ducklings, by Frank Swinnerton
33. Forbidden Territory, by Dennis Wheatley
*34. The Heel Of Achilles, by E.M. Delafield
35. Robin Linnet, by E.F. Benson
*36. Young Emmannuel, by Naomi Jacob
37. Three Generations, by Elinor Mordaunt
38. Such Power Is Dangerous, by Dennis Wheatley
39. Life & Adventures Of Sylvia Scarlett (Sylvia and Michael), by Compton MacKenzie
40. The Age Of Reason, Philip Gibbs
41. Three Lovers, by Frank Swinnerton
42. Mrs. Harter, by E.M. Delafield
43. Early Morning, by R.H. Mottram
44. Black August, by Dennis Wheatley
45. Poor Relations, by Compton MacKenzie
46. Magic Quest, by Stephen McKenna
47. And Mr Wyke Bond, by W.B. Maxwell
48. Life & Loves Of Marie Walewska (special edition), by Count D’Ornano
49. Guns Of The Gods, by Talbot Mundy
50. Young Men In Love, by Michael Arlen
51. The Black Swan, by Rafael Sabatini
52. Fortune’s Fool, by Rafael Sabatini
53. “Seen Unknown…,” by Naomi Jacob
54. Into The Land Of Nod, by H.A. Vachell
55. The Box Of Spikenard, by Ethel Boileau
56. Rich Relatives, by Compton MacKenzie
57. Summer Storm, by Frank Swinnerton
58. Fabulous Valley, by Dennis Wheatley
59. Lily Christine, by Michael Arlen
60. Tzigane, by Lady Eleanor Smith
61. The Devil Rides Out, by Dennis Wheatley
62. Unchanging Quest, by Philip Gibbs
63. Four Generations, by Naomi Jacob
64. Portrait Of His Excellency, by Stephen McKenna
65. Time To Be Going, by R.H. Mottram
66. The Dark Fire, by by Elinor Mordaunt
67. The Beach Of Dreams, by Henry De Vere Stacpoole
68. Portrait Of A Lady, by Lady Eleanor Smith
69. Young Felix, by Frank Swinnerton
70. White Rajah, by Owen Rutter
71. Captain Blood, by Rafael Sabatini
72. Happiness, by Cosmo Hamilton
73. Caesar Dies, by Talbot Mundy
74. The Undiscovered Country, by Stephen McKenna
75. A Modern Melody, by Geoffrey Moss
76. Terminus, by Doris Leslie
77. Namesakes, by Stephen McKenna
78. The Faithful Lovers, by J.D. Beresford
79. Jannock, by Margaret Brash
80. Banner Of The Bull, by Rafael Sabatini
81. The Hounds Of God, by Rafael Sabatini
82. Wood Nymph, by Eden Phillpotts
83. Questing Trout, by Ursula Bloom
84. Beyond Control, by Rex Beach
85. Mating Call, by Rex Beach
86. Bobbie, by Dorothea Conyers
87. –
88. Beau Ideal, by P.C. Wren
89. Beau Sabreur, by P.C. Wren
90. The Wages Of Virtue, by P.C. Wren
91. Father Gregory, by P.C. Wren
92. Dew And Mildew, by P.C. Wren
93. Driftwood Spars, by P.C. Wren
94. The Snake And The Sword, by P.C. Wren
95. London Symphony, by Anthony Gibbs
96. Vain Pantomime, by Diana Patrick

A few additional titles may or may not be in the Novels subseries:

Private Collantz, by Naomi Jacob (1943)

The Shame of Motley, by Rafael Sabatini (1945)
Anthony Wilding, by Rafael Sabatini (1945)

Lady Doctor – Woman Spy, by Bernard Newman (date ?)

Three Inquisitive People, by Denis Wheatley (date ?)