Percy Press Reprints

The Percy Press (London, UK)
Series dates: 1946-1950
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

The Percy Press was a minor London publisher whose first publication appears to be Air Mail, a 1936 book about, well, airmail. A half dozen titles, mostly adventure, appear through 1952. Between 1946 and 1950 the Percy Press Reprints appear, with a total of 5 titles, which trickled out at a rate of one title a year between 1946 and 1950. This series should not be confused with Blackwell’s Percy Reprints, issued between 1920-1953.

Advertisements for the series in the Times Literary Supplement appeared as titles were slowly added, between 1946 and 1950:

TLS, December 7, 1946

TLS, February 26, 1949

TLS, March 31, 1950.

The five titles in the series issued one a year between 1946 and 1950:

1946: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
1947: Barchester Towers, by Anthony Trollope
1948: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
1949: Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
1950: Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore

This copy of Wuthering Heights was the third title issued in the series, in 1948. Jackets are common to the series, with variations in color (blue, tan, magenta, etc.). The series name appears on the front of the jacket. The front jacket flap is blank except for the price (7/6 net).

“THE PERCY PRESS REPRINTS: The Percy Press are publishing from time to time a number of standard novels. They will be printed on good quality paper in an attractive style and will be BOUND TO LAST. Each book is so carefully produced that is a delight for the reader to handle. The usual overcrowding of words to the page, so common to classics, has been avoided. Already the discerning book buyer and reader eagerly awaits each new volume of the reprints. The next volume in the Percy Press Reprints will be Charles Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist.'”

This is a “library edition” – which implies a heavier binding (which it is), but I believe this is the only binding that was available.

Solid cloth bindings with gold typography:

The half-title page:

The title page, in two colors:

“First Published in the Percy Press Reprints, 1948.”

“The Percy Press, London N.17”

“Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner, Ltd., Frome and London.”

At the end of the text of Wuthering Heights is a “list” of two titles in the series, Jane Eyre and Barchester Towers.