Popular Edition Series

French Library Syndicate (New York, US)
Series dates: 1917
Size: 5.25″ x 7.25″

This site does not typically include single-author series. Alas, an exception here: the Popular Edition Series consists of ten volumes of Maupassant’s works, edited by F.C. deSumichrast and Adolphe Cohn. The books also include the name of The Stratford Press (London) but indicate “Made in USA.” It’s possible the books were printed in the UK and bound in the US. The Stratford Press seems to be largely a printer, although its name appears as the publisher of a dozen or so titles from 1917 through 1958.

The series and publisher are a mystery, with no WorldCat publications besides these 10 titles, all with a copyright of 1917. An internet search turns up one source citing titles by the publisher issued in 1925 (in two citations in The Classic Short Story, 1870-1925 (2014) by Florence Goyet) but those could be errors. In addition, there are numerous collected works of Maupassant published in the early part of the 20th century, some edited by the same editors of this collection, which may, in essence, be the same books, just repackaged and sold by another publisher.

I can’t find any advertisements or other mentions of the series in contemporary sources, thus I’m using 1917 as the date of the series but it’s likely somewhat later (1920s or early 1930s) given the look of the jackets and binding.

It’s also possible that “The Popular Edition Series” was a cheaper version of the same texts, issued in more expensive bindings, before 1917. Again, I can’t find anything to support this supposition.

Regardless, this collection of titles is series-like enough to be included here.

Jackets are common to the ten titles, printed on pale blue paper which includes the series name on the spine and front of the jacket. The front jacket flap introduces and lists four titles in the series (some multi-title volumes).

Six more titles are listed on the back flap and the back of the jacket back contains laudatory comments by one of the series editors.

The binding seems to be a plasticized material, light but durable, in a medium blue. All other titles in this series I’ve seen use the same binding color.

Blank end-papers:

The title page:

The copyright page: