Walter Edwards Classics

Walter Edwards (Publishers) Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1947-1951
Size: 5″ x 7.25″

I’ve found very little information on the post-WW2 London publisher Walter Edwards (Publishers) Ltd. In 1946 a few titles under the Walter Edwards imprint appear, including mysteries, general fiction and miscellaneous non-fiction. Among the few dozen titles issued by the firm are the nine titles published in the Walter Edwards Classics series. The last publications from the firm appear in 1951.

The Walter Edwards Classics titles are listed below. I’ve included the price (taken from the jacket shown below) and years of publication (listed in WorldCat). It is possible that all the titles were originally issued in 1947, as all are listed on the Kingsley title shown below (itself published in 1947). The variation in price is probably contingent on the length of the book (longer books cost more).

Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories (7/6) 1948, 1951
Charles Kingsley, The Water Babies (8/6) 1947, 1948
Charles Lamb, Tales from Shakespeare (8/6) 1948
Captain F. Marryat, Masterman Ready (8/6) 1948
Edgar Allan Poe, Murders in the Rue Morgue (8/6) 1948, 1950
Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (7/6) 1947
Robert Louis Stevenson, Master of Ballantrae (7/6) 1947
Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque (7/6) 1947
Isaak Walton, The Complete Angler (7/6) 1947, 1948

A copy of Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies (below) is dated 1947. Jackets in the series are common to the series but printed in different colors (pink, grey, tan). The series name is included on the front of the jacket. The series name does not appear anywhere in the book itself, thus you need the jacket to identify the book as being part of a series. The front jacket flap provides a brief biography of the author and the book’s price (8s/6d in this case).

The rear of the jacket lists 8 titles, not including The Water Babies. “A Selection of these delightful and ever popular Walter Edwards Classics (uniform with this volume) is given below.” Ever popular indeed! The publisher’s imprint is included. The rear jacket flap is blank.

Bindings are relatively low-grade cloth with gold stamping.

Patterned endpapers used in front and back:

The half-title page:

The title page faced by an illustration from the book. The date (1947) is included.

“Printed in Great Britain by Blake & Mackenzie, Ltd., Liverpool, for Walter Edwards (Publishers) Ltd., and bound by John Gardner (Liverpool) Ltd.”