Sesame Books

Faber and Faber, Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1940-1951
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

The Sesame Books series name was used for a series of children’s books published by the Sesame Publishing Co. of New York, London, and Vienna around 1922-1923. Faber’s Sesame Books, slight volumes of poems and prose by contemporary authors, were first issued in 1940 with reprints as late as 1960, although it seems that all of the titles were issued before 1944. There is no mention of the series in the book literature after 1951.

Jackets are unique to each title, with varying typography and decorations framing the title and author on the jacket front. Paper colors also vary. This copy of W.H. Davies’ Common Joys and Other Poems is dated 1943 and was initially issued in the series in 1941. The front jacket flap repeats the title and author and includes the price of 2/6 net.

The rear jacket flap lists additional titles by Davies, best known for his book, The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp. The rear of the jacket lists all titles in the series, separated into poetry (2/6 net) and prose (3/6 net). I can’t find any other titles published beyond those in this list (reproduced below).

There were 18 poetry titles and 11 prose titles, for a total of 29 Sesame Books titles in all. The titles were not numbered. I’ve kept the order of titles from the jacket (above). The year of publication for each title below is the earliest copy I can find in WorldCat and other sources.

Poetry – 2/6 net Each

Some Poems, by W.H. Auden (1940)
Selected Poems, by Robert Bridges (1941)
1914 & Other Poems, by Rupert Brooke (1941)
Sons Of The Mistral, by Roy Campbell (1941)
Common Joys & Other Poems, by W.H. Davies (1941)
Time Passes & Other Poems, by Walter De La Mare (1942)
The Waste Land & Other Poems, by T.S. Eliot (1940)
No More Ghosts: Selected Poems, by Robert Graves (1940)
The Ship Of Death & Other Poems, by D.H. Lawrence (1941)
Selected Poems, by Louis MacNeice (1940)
The Silent Pool & Other Poems, by Harold Monro (1942)
Season and Festival, by Herbert Palmer (1943)
A Selection Of Poems, by Ezra Pound (1940)
Thirty-Five Poems, by Herbert Read (1940)
Poems Newly Selected, by Siegfried Sassoon (1940)
Poems New & Old, by Edith Sitwell (1940)
Selected Poems, by Stephen Spender (1940)
The Trumpet & Other Poems, by Edward Thomas (1940)

Prose-3/6 Net Each

The Picnic & Other Stories, by Walter De La Mare (1941)
Points Of View, by T.S. Eliot (1941)
Storm And Precipice, by Neil M. Gunn (1942)
At Bay & Other Stories, by James Hanley (1944)
Pieces Of Mind, by C.E.M. Joad (1940)
Introducing James Joyce: A Selection Of Joyce’s Prose (1941)
The Insurance Salesman & Other Stories, by William Saroyan (1941)
The Flower-Show Match & Other Pieces, by Siegfried Sassoon (1941)
The Homing Of The Winds, by Sacheverell Sitwell (1942)
Harvest by Lamplight, by A. G. Street (1941)
As The Sun Shines, by Henry Williamson (1941)

The binding is in boards with cloth tape for the spine. The title and author are printed on the front cover.

The half-title page:

The title page:

The copyright page includes publication months and years. This copy is the fourth impression, July 1943. “Printed in Great Britain by Western Printing Services Ltd., Bristol.”