Modern Fiction Library

Macmillan & Co., Ltd. (London, UK; New York, US)
Series dates: 1913, 1949-1954
Size: 7.25″ x 5″

Revised 6/26/2023

Macmillan’s Modern Fiction Library is issued in two phases, twelve documented titles in 1913 (with a few subsequent reprints) followed by a long lull, until the series was resurrected in 1949, with nineteen titles issued (the last in 1954). The 1913 titles were issued in the US and UK. It seems that the later series is initially only offered in the UK, with some later titles published in the UK and US. If this accounting is correct, a total of 31 titles were published in the series.

The initial eight titles in the series, from the Booklist; A Guide to Current Books, Volume 9, 1913:

A few more titles appear in this listing (spread over two pages, adjacent to an ad including what has to be the worst name for, and drawing of, a shoe– ever) in the Literary Digest, May 3, 1915:

The initial twelve titles in the Modern Fiction Library series:

**A Kentucky Cardinal, by James Lane Allen (1913, 1914)
**The Reign of Law, by James Lane Allen (1913)
**Jim Hands, by Richard Washburn Child (1913) (source)
**A Friend of Caesar, by William Stearns Davis (1913)
**A Dark Lantern, by Elizabeth Robins (1913)
**The Common Lot, by Robert Herrick (1913)
**Burning Daylight, by Jack London (1913, 1915)
**Mr. Ingleside, by E.V. Lucas (1913)
**The Colonel’s Story, by Sara Agnes Rice Pryor (1913)
**Kings in Exile, by Charles G.D. Pryor (1913)
**Elizabeth and her German Garden, by Elizabeth Von Arnim (1913)
**The Wheels of Chance, by H.G. Wells (1913)

**Published in the US by Macmillan, New York

While Macmillan took a break from publishing new titles in its Modern Fiction Library, the United Press Ltd. advertised four titles in its own Modern Fiction Library in 1922.

Titles published, as indicated in this advertisement in the Bookseller (November 1922), include The Curse of the Library, by F.A.M. Webster, and Lavender’s Inheritance, by Alice & Claude Askew.

Two more titles were announced (but were, according to the advertisement, delayed in printing): The Crimson Alibi, by Octavius Roy Cohen, and Old May Curry, by Charles van Loan (source).

Macmillan resurrected their Modern Fiction Library beginning in 1949. Initial titles seem to be published only in the UK. Some later titles were issued in the US. The nineteen titles published in the post-WW2 Modern Fiction Library series:

England, Their England, by A.G. Macdonell (1949, 1964*)
How Like an Angel, by A.G. Macdonell (1949)
Knight Without Armour,
by James Hilton (1949)
Lost Horizon, by James Hilton (1949, 1956, 1961)
The Cathedral,
by Hugh Walpole (1949)
Jeremy, by Hugh Walpole (1949)
Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill, by Hugh Walpole (1949)
The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains, by Owen Wister (1949)

Diary of a Provincial Lady, by E.M. Delafield (1950)
No Common Glory,
by David Pilgrim (1950)

**The Forest Lovers: A Romance, by Maurice Henry Hewlett (1951)
So Well Remembered,
by James Hilton (1951)
Autobiography of a Cad,
by A.G. Macdonell (1951)
**Jeremy and Hamlet, by Hugh Walpole (1951)

**Random Harvest, by James Hilton (1952, 1959)
**Jeremy at Crale, by Hugh Walpole (1952)

**The Crock of Gold, by James Stephens (1953)

Cloudless May, by Storm Jameson (1954)
The Battlers,
by Kylie Tennant (1954)

*Reprint published in the US by St. Martin’s Press
**Published in the US by Macmillan, New York

I’ve not seen dust jackets from the 1913 titles. Both US and UK titles would have jackets, as was common on Macmillan titles of the era.

Autobiography of a Cad by A.G. Macdonell was published in 1951, one of three titles by Macdonell in the series issued after WW2. Jackets are common to the series in this era, although printed in different color inks. The title and author are on the jacket spine, along with the publisher. The front of the jacket also includes the series’ name. A list of series titles is on the front jacket flap.

The rear jacket contains only the design. The rear jacket flap continues the list of titles in the series.

The binding, in green, matched to the color of the dust jacket.

Blank endpapers:

The half-title page:

Books by A.G. Macdonell face the title page, which includes the year of publication.

“This book is copyright in all countries which are signatories to the Berne Convention. First edition, June 1938. Modern Fiction Library, 1951.

“Printed by R. & R. Clark, Ltd., Edinburgh”