Live Books Resurrected

T. Werner Laurie Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1942-1945
Size: 7″ x 5″

Revised 6/24/2023

L. Stanley Jast was the (former) chief librarian of the Manchester Public Libraries when he edited Live Books Resurrected, a series of seven titles issued by T. Werner Laurie Ltd of London, published between 1942 and 1945. The series included titles that were allegedly long out of print, yet of general interest and worthy of being back in print. The titles in the series include:

1. Belford Regis, by Mary Russell Mitford (1942)
2. Memoirs of Robert Houdin, by Robert Houdin (1942)
3. Pencilings by the Way, by N.P. Willis (1942)
4. The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan in England, by James Morier (1942)
5. Men, Women, and Books, by Leigh Hunt (1943)
6. Notes by a Naturalist, by H.N. Moseley (1944)
7. Exploration and Adventures in Equatorial Africa, by Paul B Du Chaillu (1945)

The series was advertised in the Times and Times Literary Supplement, and at least one of the reissued titles (Willis) was reviewed in the TLS. The advertisements from the Times are below (similar ads appeared in the TLS):

Left: The Times (London), March 12, 1943
Middle: The Times (London), December 1, 1943
Right: The Times (London), November 23, 1945

The series titles shared a common, austere dust jacket printed on blue-grey paper with dark blue ink. The series name appears on the spine, front cover, and front flap of this copy of Mary Russell Mitford’s Belford Regis (#1 in the series, published in 1942). A long discourse on out-of-print books and prospectus for the series begins on the front jacket flap and continues on the rear jacket flap. The price is 7/6 net per volume.

The initial four titles in the series appear on the back of the dust jacket:

Cloth bindings in blue with gold typography. The series name is included on the book spine.

Blank endpapers:

Typically, a half-title page would follow, but in this book, the prospectus for the series is repeated from the jacket, along with the four initial titles in the series.

The half-title follows, indicating the series name, title, and author. “Book Production War Economy Standard” is indicated. These restrictions led to limits on paper for printing books and led to significant reductions in the number of books published during WW2.

The initial (1835) and current (1942) printing of this title follow the half-title page. Typically this information is included on the copyright page (after the title page).

A portrait of Mitford faces the title page:

The verso of the title page includes a rather large printer’s device and “Printed in Great Britain by Butler and Tanner Ltd., Frome and London.”