Introductions to English Literature

The Cresset Press Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1938-1969
Size: 5.25″ x 8″
Revised 5/15/2023

The five volumes of the Introductions to English Literature series are listed in an advertisement in The Times Literary Supplement (Saturday, Apr. 15, 1939, Issue 1941, p. 210). A brief prospectus of the series states: “The series of five volumes provides a systematic scheme by which readers should be able to get a fair knowledge of the whole field of English Literature. Each volume consists of a long introduction covering the literature of the period in all its forms, and a bibliography of books written during the period, accompanied by critical notes and lists of critical works covering the most recent scholarship.”

These five titles comprise the entire series, of which Bonamy Dobr´ee was the general editor. Each was first published for the series. The five titles were each revised over time, with the final printing (of #5) in 1969.

#1. The Beginnings of English Literature to 1509. W.L Renwick & Harold Orton (1939; reprint 1940; 2nd revised edition 1952; 3rd edition 1966).
#2. The English Renaissance, 1509-1688. V. de Sola Pinto & Bruce Pattison (1938; reprint 1939; 2nd revised edition 1951; 3rd revised edition 1966).
#3. The Augustans and Romantics. H.V.D Dyson, John Butt, Geoffrey Webb, Frederick Jack Fisher, and H.A. Hodges (1940; 2nd revised edition 1950; reprint 1951; 3rd revised edition 1961; reprint 1966).
#4. The Victorians and After, 1830-1914. Bonamy Dobr´ee and Edith Batho (1938; 2nd revised edition 1950; 3rd revised edition, with Guy Chapman added as author 1962).
#5. The Present Age from 1914. Edwin Muir (1939, retitled The Present Age after 1920, as 2nd revised edition, by David Daiches, 1958; reprint 1962; reprint 1969).

Jackets are common to the series. Revised editions published in the late 1960s had a redesigned (still common) cover design. The last revised editions were issued as paperbacks.

In pre-1960s titles, a conservative jacket design in red ink on grey heavy paper is used. The series name is on the front and spine of the jacket, along with the title, author (or authors), and publisher. The front jacket flap describes the book and includes a price (clipped here, but 6/- net). Below is a copy of the first, 1938 edition of The Victorians and After, 1830-1914, by Dobr´ee and Batho.

The rear of the jacket details the four volumes of the series available when this volume was published (1938).

Beige cloth bindings:

The first half-title page includes the series name and volume number:

The second half-title page includes the specific volume title:

The title page with authors and their affiliation and the publisher and imprint.

“First Published 1938” and “Printed in Guernsey, C.I., British Isles, by the Star and Gazette LTD.” is included on the verso of the title page.