Robert Hayes (London, UK)
Series dates: 1927-1928
Size: 3.75″ x 5.75″
Frank J. Claringbull, late of Ward, Lock & Co., Ltd., headed the firm. A smattering of series emerge: Robert Hayes’ Fiction Library (1920), Sandringham Library (1923-1925), and the Rosebery Series (1925-1930). Among these titles, Hayes also issues general fiction, juveniles, Westerns, a book on “fruit culture,” stray political titles, Trollope reissues, and a diminutive gift series, In A Nook Booklets. The latter follows the pattern of similar series: small in size, short, breezy, and typically intended as an upgrade to a throw-away birthday card (without the commitment to a real book).
The initial six titles in the In A Nook Booklets appear as “ready shortly” in a March 6, 1927 edition of The Publishers’ Circular and Booksellers’ Record (below). An additional four titles are announced in 1928 (The Publishers’ Circular and Booksellers’ Record, Volume 129, 1928)
The last Robert Hayes titles in WorldCat are dated 1933, and references to the In A Nook Booklets last appear in 1934, suggesting the firm went out of business in the early 1930s.
The small books (3.75″ x 5.75″) have a heavy, linen paper cover glued to boards, probably technically not a dust jacket, but much like a dust jacket in form. The front of the cover includes the name of the title (which follows a pattern: In a Nook…), the series name, and a glued-on illustration. In A Nook With A Book (shown below) is typical of the series titles, which, with the cover illustration, have covers unique to each title. The front jacket flap lists titles in the series.
These books are well made and quite a few have survived.
Titles in the series are below. The numbers are from advertisements; series numbers do not appear on the books themselves.
1. In a Nook with God (1927)
2. In a Nook with Nature (1927)
3. In a Nook – Golden Thoughts (1927)
4. In a Nook with a Friend (1927)
5. In a Nook with a Lover (1927)
6. In a Nook in a Garden (1927)
7. In a Nook with Myself (1928)
8. In a Nook with a Book (1928)
9. In a Nook by the Fireside (1928)
10. In a Nook at Eventide (1928)
Copies were 1/- net, with a variant in leather binding, in a box for 2/5 net.d
The rear of the cover is blank and the rear flap lists, again, series titles.
The linen cover is glued to the spine and what would be the endpapers (now shown here). A half-title page with the series name follows.
A second half-title page follows with the specific name of the title:
The title page and compiler (A. Patterson Webb).
Acknowledgments follow, along with the title of the book (again) and a single quote.
The title – yet again – and the start o what are a few dozen pages of quotes about, in this case, books and reading.
Printed by Jarrold and Sons, Ltd. Norwich.