International Library

Stanley Paul & Co. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1923-1928
Size: 4.75″ x 7″

David McKay Co. (Philadelphia, US)
Series dates: 1923-1928
Size: 4.75″ x 7″

An international collaboration series by Stanley Paul & Co. in London and David McKay Co. in Philadelphia. The series began in 1923 and ended in 1928 when Stanley Paul went bankrupt (it was bought out by Hutchinson, Ltd. in 1929). The series appears to have issued 22 titles.

The International Library was much like the Lotus Library, a joint series between Collins and Greening (both UK) and Brentano’s (New York). The binding of the International Library is reminiscent of the Lotus Library, suggesting it was emulating that series. Also like the Lotus Library, the focus of the series was international fiction in translation.

Advertisement for the new International Library. The Times (London, England), Friday, Dec 14, 1923; pg. 9
Advertisement for the newly issued International Library from The Times (London, England), Friday, Dec 14, 1923; pg. 9

There appear to be 22 titles in the International Library. I did not find series numbering anywhere but in an advertisement in a copy of Love’s Mask, By Effie Adelaide Maria Albanesi (Stanley Paul, 1929). That list is numbered up to #23, but excludes two titles (Dumas’ Neopolitan Lovers and Prussian Terror), and does not indicate titles for series numbers #4, #5, and #18. I’m guessing the two Dumas titles are #4 and #5 and may have been out of print in 1929, thus left off the 1929 list. The numbering would then be out of order with the year of publication, as it seems that The Neopolitan Lovers was published in 1923. It’s possible that the unpublished Little Novels of Spain occupied #18. This title was announced in several advertisements, but I cannot find any evidence it was published.

1. The Decameron of Boccaccio, by Giovanni Boccaccio
The Neapolitan Lovers, by Alexandre Dumas

2. The Angel of the Chimes, by Fortune du Boisgobey
3. The Convict Colonel, by Fortuné Du Boisgobey
6. Paul and Virginia, by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre
7. Love and Liberty, by Alexandre Dumas
The Prussian Terror, by Alexandre Dumas

8. The Mysteries of Paris, Etc., Marie Joseph Eugène Sue
9. Adolphe, by Benjamin Constant
10. Selected Stories, by Guy de Maupassant
11. The Betrothed, Etc., by Alessandro Manzoni
12. The Fishermen, by D.V. Grigorovich
13. The Spider and the Fly, by Alfred de Vigny

14. The Grasshopper, and Other Stories, by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
15. The Undying Race, by Rene Milan

16. The Shooting Party, by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
17. The Heptameron, Margaret D’Angoulême
18. ?
19. Bontshe the Silent, by Isaac Leib Peretz
20. In Monte Carlo, by Henryk Sienkiewicz
21. Hindu Tales From the Sanskrit, edited by C.A. Rylands
22. Sasha, by A.I. Kuprin

23. A Dead Woman’s Wish, by Émile Zola

Announced but not Published
Little Novels of Spain: Cervantes and Others, edited by F.L. Lawson-Johnston

An undated but most likely 1924 copy of Fortune du Boisgobey’s The Angel of the Chimes has an illustrated jacket unique to the title. The spine advertises “A New Series of Translated and Standard Fiction.” The front jacket advertises two of the six initial titles in the series. The series name is indicated on the base of the jacket spine.


The rest of the initial titles in the series are advertised on the rear jacket and jacket flap. No price is indicated on the jacket. This may be one of the copies sold in the U.S.


Bindings are nicely debossed black cloth.


Facing the half-title page is a catalog of the initial series titles.


An illustration from the book faces the title page. A frame encompasses the title along with the publisher’s information on the title page.


The books were printed in Great Britain. It’s not clear if any copies were printed in the U.S. It would not have been uncommon for printed, bound and jacketed copies to be shipped to and sold in the U.S. by McKay.


The second jacket, from Kuprin’s Sasha, has a somewhat campy design unique to the title. On this copy, the 2/6 price is printed on the jacket spine (thus a copy to be sold in the U.K.). The same “New Series of Translations…” is on the jacket spine. This title was published near the end of the series (and Stanley Paul & Co.) in 1927. There are 23 titles listed in the series on the jacket, but one (Little Novels of Spain) does not appear to have been published.


The back of the jacket includes a map showing the home countries of the authors in the series. Not so much international as European, not U.K. F.L. Lawson-Johnson is indicated as the series editor. His name is not on the jacket or binding of the Boisgobey copy above.


The binding is the same as the earlier copy, but gold stamping is added to the binding. Some copies have a light binding with black stamping for the lettering and design on the books.


An author image faces the title page, designed as on the earlier copy.


A list of titles in the series, probably complete, faces the preface.