Kings’ Way Classics

aka/ Collins’ Kings’ Way Classics

William Collins & Sons (aka/ Collins Clear-Type Press) (London, Glasgow, UK)
Series dates: 1927-1930
Size: 4.5″ x 7″

Added 5/27/2024

Collins’s series, the Kings’ Way Classics, was first published in early 1927.

The series contained some new collections of short stories and essays in addition to typical reprinted titles.

The advertisement to the left, from The Nation & Athenaeum (April 23, 1927, p. 91) blurbs the series, it’s price (3’6 net) and lists the initial 10 volumes in the series. “100 Volumes in Preparation.”

The note below from The Bookseller & The Stationery Trades’ Journal mentions the 10 titles issued in early 1927, with 9 following in the fall, for a total of 19 volumes published in 1927. Earlier dates can be found for titles in the series, but they undoubtedly refer to the original copyright year for individual books. Volume publication did not follow the series numbers, and numerous titles were not published. See the list below.

The advertisement below is in the back of a 1927 edition of A Laurence Binyon Anthology (Collins). It lists the 19 volumes of the series issued in 1927.

While the advertisements claimed that 100 titles were in preparation, it seems that many titles were never published in the series. The list below, extracted from the back of the jacket (on #35, see below), lists what I believe to be the entirety of the series titles published. Out of 60 listed titles, one (James’ Within the Rim) is listed under two series numbers (#33 and #60), and 30 series numbers have no associated published title. This leaves 29 titles (out of the original plan for 100 titles) published in the series.

1. No Title (possibly planned as Tales of Wonder by H.G. Wells)
2. Ancient Sorceries, by Algernon Blackwood
3. Russian Tales, translated by Aylmer Maude
4. No Title (possibly planned as New Arabian Nights by Stevenson)
5. No Title
6. No Title
7. No Title
8. No Title
9. No Title
10. No Title (possibly planned as Robinson Crusoe by Stevenson)
11. No Title (possibly planned as The Vicar of Wakefield by Goldsmith)
12. Henry Brocken, by Walter De La Mare (1928)
13. The Splendour Of Asia, by L. Adams Beck
14. No Title
15. No Title
16. No Title
17. No Title (possibly planned as Under the Greenwood Tree by Hardy)
18. No Title (possibly planned as Treasure Island by Stevenson)
19. No Title (possibly planned as Table Talk by Hazlitt)
20. Life At The Mermaid, by J.C. Squire
21. From My Books, by C. Lewis Hind
22. Cities, Sea-Coasts, And Islands, by Arthur Symons
23. No Title (possibly planned as Modern Drama in Europe by Storm Jameson)
24. The Ivory Tower, by Henry James
25. The Story of My Heart, by Richard Jefferies
26. Turgenev, by Edward Garnett
27. Countries of the Mind, by J. Middleton Murry (1929)
28. An Inland Voyage, by Robert Louis Stevenson
29. No Title
30. Heritage, by V. Sackville-West
31. The Green Lacquer Pavilion, by Helen Beauclerk
32. The Sense of The Past, by Henry James
*33. Within the Rim, by Henry James (1930)
34. Pencillings, by J. Middleton Murry
35. The Peregrine’s Saga, by Henry T. Williamson
36. An Observer’s Twelvemonth, by Sir W. Beach-Thomas
37. The Gamekeeper at Home, by Richard Jefferies
38. The Lone Swallows, by Henry T. Williamson (1929)
39. No Title
40. No Title (possibly planned as Tennyson by Lawrence Binyon)
41. An Anthology of English Verse, by John Drinkwater
42. No Title (possibly planned as A Lawrence Binyon Anthology)
43. No Title (possibly planned as A Child’s Garden of Verses by Stevenson)
44. The Comic Muse, by J.C. Squire
45. The School of Poetry, by Alice Meynell (1928)
46. No Title
47. No Title
48. No Title
49. No Title
50. The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, by Frederlck Lonsdale
51. The Rumour, by C.K. Munro
52. No Title
53. No Title
54. No Title
55. No Title
56. Three Men Discuss Relativity, by J.W.N. Sullivan
57. A Book of Folk-Lore, by S. Baring-Gould
58. Ibsen and His Creation, by Janko Lavrin
59. No Title
*60. Within the Rim, by Henry James (1930)

*This title is listed as #60 on the jacket (below) but as #33 in several entries in WorldCat. A bit of a mystery.

Henry Williamson’s The Peregrine’s Saga is #35 in the series and seems to have been published in 1937 (but it may be a subsequent, later printing). Many of the titles in the series share a common textual jacket printed on orange-tan paper. The series name is on the front of the jacket, and the “Latest Volumes” are advertised on the front jacket flap.

The “Latest Volumes” are repeated on the rear jacket flap. The back of the jacket contains what I believe to be a complete list of the series titles. The listing is alphabetical, possibly to hide the fact that dozens of titles were not yet published (and would never be published, it seems).

An alternative, possibly an earlier jacket in the series, included an illustrated jacket. Not in my collection.

Sturdy cloth binding is in tan cloth with the title, author, and publisher on the spine.

Blank endpapers:

The half-title page:

The title page faces a list of a subset of titles in the series.

Some titles have illustrated title pages. Not in my collection

The copyright page includes the words “Copyright” but with no date. “Printed in Great Britain.”

“London and Glasgow: Collins’ Clear Type Press” faces a listing of volumes in the series near the end of the book.