Rosemary Library

Michael Joseph (London, UK)
Series dates: 1937
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

Michael Joseph worked for Hutchinson and established Michael Joseph Ltd. in 1935 with Norman Collins and Victor Gollancz as investors. Joseph began with rooms at Gollancz company offices. See the entry on Joseph’s Mermaid Books for more information on Joseph and his firm.

The first two – and only – titles in Michael Joseph’s pre-WW2 Rosemary Library were published in 1937. “The Rosemary Library, edited by Sir John Squire, is intended to reprint books at least thirty years old which are deemed worthy of reintroduction to the public” (source). The series debut was noted in publications such as the Times Literary Supplement, The Listener, and The New York Times Book Review. Alas, despite praise from reviewers and three more announced titles, no more series titles were published.

Titles (published, and announced but not published) in the Rosemary Library:

The Speeches of Charles Dickens, by Charles Dickens; edited by Richard Herne Shepherd; introduction by Bernard Darwin (1937)

The New Republic; or, Culture, Faith and Philosophy in an English Country House, by W.H. Mallock (William Hurrell); introduction by John Squire (1937)

Kriegspiel, by F.H. Groome; introduction by Henry Williamson (not published)

The School for Fathers, by T. Gwynn; introduction by Alice Warrender (not published)

Sketches of the Wild Sports and Natural History of the Highlands, by Charles St. John; introduction by D.R. Jardine (not published)

I’ve not seen a dust jacket for the other title in the Rosemary Library, but it’s probable that jackets are common in design to the jacket on The Speeches of Charles Dickens, which appears below. The series name is on the jacket spine and front. The price (3/6) is printed on the spine. The general series editor, Sir John Squire, is below the series name on the jacket front. A brief blurb for the book appears on the front jacket flap.

The rear jacket flap blurbs the series, and lists four additional titles “in preparation.” Only the first, The New Republic, appeared (also in 1937).

This book is bound in coarse blue cloth, with only the book title and no other typography or decoration.

The half-title page includes the series name.

A list of additional titles in preparation faces the title page, which again repeats the series name and series editor. The book has an introduction by Bernard Darwin and was edited and prefaced by R.H. Shepherd.

“Set and printed in Great Britain at the Mayflower Press, Plymouth, in Baskerville type, eleven point, on a toned antique-wove paper made by John Dickinson and bound by James Burn in Swithin Crash Canvas.”

It is unusual to include so much detail about the typeface, paper, and bookbinding in series reprints.