Self-Study English Series

Oliver and Boyd (Edinburgh, UK)
Series dates: 1934-1944
Size: 4.25″ x 6.5″

Clarke, Irwin & Co. (Toronto, Canada)
Series dates: 1935-1938
Size: 4.25″ x 6.5″

Updated 6/25/2024

Publisher Oliver and Boyd was established in 1807 or 1808 in Edinburgh by two partners: Thomas Oliver (1776–1853) and George Boyd (died 1843). The firm ceased operations in 1990.

The Self-Study English Series titles were first issued in 1934 and the last title was published in 1938. The series is listed in various book periodicals until at least 1944.

The series contained brief, small format titles appended with study questions. A 1942 edition of The Scottish Educational Journal indicates that there were 14 titles in the series and thus the list below is likely complete. At least 3 titles were co-published in Canada by Clarke, Irwin & Co. (Toronto, Canada).

Titles in the series include: 

Californian Tales, by Bret Harte, edited by R. Macintyre (1934)

Lavengro, by George Borrow ed. by J.W. Oliver (1934)

Travels of Baron Munchausen, by Rudolf Erich Raspe (1934)

Travels of David Livingstone, ed. by Alexander Mitchell (1934)

Word Pictures from Scott, by Sir Walter Scott, ed. by H.J. Findlay (1934)

Historical Scenes and Portraits from Scott, By Sir Walter Scott, ed. by J.C. Smith (1935)

Scott’s Verse Romances, by Sir Walter Scott, ed. by H.J. Findlay (1935)

*The Spanish Armada, by J.A. Froude, ed. by H.J. Findlay (1935)

Tales of the Vikings: Stories from the Icelandic Sagas, ed. by A. Law (1935)

*Maid Marian, by Thomas Love Peacock, ed. by A. S. Cairncross (1936)

Adventures of Gerard, from The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade, ed. by Neil B. McKellar (1938)

In and Out of School. Tales & Episodes of School Life. Selected and edited by J.E. Mason (1938)

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, abridged and edited by J. Edward Mason (1938)

*Witches, Warlocks and Ghosts: Tales of the Supernatural, ed. J.E. Mason (1938)

*co-published in North America by Clarke, Irwin & Co. (Toronto, Canada)

Dust jackets are common to the series with a repeating pattern printed in different colors. The jackets do not include the series name nor any information about the book, which is a bit odd. This copy of Scott’s Verse Romances, like many other titles in the series, is undated, but I believe was issued in 1934 (based on information in contemporary book periodicals).

The back and rear flap of the dust jacket:

Green cloth bindings with gold typography. The series name is included on the front of the book:

The half-title page includes the series name:

The title page:

“Made in Great Britain by Oliver and Boyd LTD., Edinburgh”

The first of a dozen pages of questions and exercises, comprising, it seems, the “self-study” portion of the book.

A repeat from the copyright page: “Made in Great Britain by Oliver and Boyd LTD., Edinburgh”