Melrose’s Pocket Series

Andrew Melrose Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1918-1953
Size: 6.75″ x 4.5″

Publisher Andrew Melrose produced a small but distinguished series of books from the firm’s inception in 1899. The company was sold to Hutchinson in 1929 and became an imprint of that firm. The Andrew Melrose Ltd. imprint was used at least through the 1960s.

Melrose’s Pocket Series consisted of 18 titles, largely light non-fiction, the first title issued in 1918 and the last in 1953 – a long time span for such a limited series. Many of the titles were issued in multiple editions, selling well over the years.

An advertisement from The Bookman (volume 59, 1920) indicates that three different bindings were available on the (then) six titles. Bindings included f’cap, lambskin, and velvet Persian yapp.

Some early jackets are illustrated and unique and some are of a common, textual design. Unique, color jackets appear after WW2. An example of the latter is David Grayson’s Adventures in Contentment, one of the initial two titles in the series (1917) and one that was reissued many times over the span of the series. This copy is a 1947 edition, the 19th printing in the series. The spine includes the book title, author and series name. A piece of the jacket is missing, possibly a price. The color, illustrated jacket front includes the series name. The front jacket flap advertises two Grayson titles in the series and includes a few quotes from reviews. The number of editions includes original editions (prior to the series editions).

The rear of the jacket of this 1947 edition lists 12 of the eighteen titles in print. A review of the series, from the Daily Telegraph, is included on the rear jacket flap.

The 18 titles issued in Melrose’s Pocket Series, by initial year of publication.

Adventures In Contentment. By David Grayson
A Student In Arms. By Donald Hankey

The Road Wanderer. By Henry Shawcross
A Student In Arms, Second Series. By Donald Hankey

Everyday Essays. By John Crawley
The Friendly Road, By David Grayson
Prose Pictures: An Anthology. Compiled by Margaret E. Jones

Happy Days. By F.H. Keyworth
The Lowly Estate. By Cranstoun Metcalfe

Devonshire Idyls. By H.C. O’Neill
Shaded Lights; On Men And Books. By The Author Of “Peace Of Mind”

Cheapside To Arcady. By Arthur Scammell
The Happy Fields. By E.M. Martin

Sunset Glory; Sermons Preached in Carluke Original Secession Church. By Alexander Smellie

Soliloquies of a Hermit. By Theodore Francis Powys

The Wood Carver Of ‘Lympus. By Mary E. Waller

Jen Sheng: The Root Of Life. By Mikhail Prishvin

Into What Port? By Agnes Rothery

Binding of this 1947 edition of Grayson’s book is black cloth with gold typography.

The half-title page:

A list of titles in the series faces the two-color title page.

A detailed history of the book from initial printing through this edition is on the copyright page. “Printed in Great Britain by the Anchor Press, Ltd., Tiptree, Essex.”