Abbey Classics

Chapman & Dodd (London, UK)
Series dates: 1920-1937
Size: 7″ x 4.5″

Simpkin Marshall & Co. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1920-1937
Size: 7″ x 4.5″

Small Maynard (Boston, USA)
Series dates: 1920-1937
Size: 7″ x 4.5″

abbey_spines

“We can remember no series of reprints which began as auspiciously as the Abbey Classics. None, we think, has been better produced, and certainly none better selected.”
–– Spectator.

The scholarly Abbey Classics are an example of a series that was published simultaneously by several different publishers. Chapman & Dodd and Simpkin Marshall imprints can be found on UK copies of the series, with same range of publication dates. Copies were also published in the US by Small Maynard of Boston. Both US and UK lists reach 24 titles, with a few variations (listed at the end, below).

The UK copies vary only in the Publisher’s name on the book title page. Both of my UK copies indicate Simpkin on the book’s spine, but one indicates Chapman & Dodd on the title page.  The US copies have different dust jackets, binding and a slightly different list of titles.

An advertisement for the series from the Times (London) 8 Dec. 1922 (page 18):

abbey_classics_ad_times_dec1922

The UK jackets are common in design, with titles, authors and a brief blurb about the book:

abbey_simpkin_dj1

The US jackets are also commonly designed for the series, and slightly different in design:

abbey_small_dj2

The titles in the UK and US series are nearly similar with a few variations; both lists are transcribed (below). The UK list is printed on the jacket rear flap:

abbey_simkin_titles

The US list is printed on the back jacket cover.

abbey_small_titles

Abbey Classics Titles

UK Abbey Classics:

1. SIR JAMES MELVILLE OF HALHILL. Memoirs of his own life. Intro. by W. Mackay Mackenzie.
2. WILLIAM BECKFORD. Vathek. Intro. by R. Brimley Johnson.
3. WILLIAM BECKFORD. The Episodes of Vathek. Intro. by Lewis Melville.
4. STERNE. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Intro. by Francis Bickley.
5. COBBETT. Journal of a Year’s Residence in America. Intro. by John Freeman.
6. APULEIUS. The Golden Asse. (Adlington’s Translation, 1566).
7. VOLTAIRE. Candide. Intro. by A.B. Walkley.
8. PETER BECKFORD. Thoughts on Hunting. Intro. by Charles Richardson.
9. DISRAELI. The Letters of Runnymede. Intro. by Francis Bickley.
10. VOLTAIRE. Zadig, or Destiny.
11. HERMAN MELVILLE. Mardi. Vol. 1.
12. HERMAN MELVILLE. Mardi. Vol. 2.
13. LONGUS. Daphnis & Chloe. (Thornley’s Translation, 1657.) Intro. by George Saintsbury.
14. JOHN GAY. Poems. Intro. by Francis Bickley.
15. JOHN GAY. Plays. Vol. I.
16. JOHN GAY. Plays. Vol. II.
17. ERASMUS. Twenty Select Colloquies. (L’Eatrange’s Translation, 1680.) Intro. by Charles Whibley.
18. PETRONIUS. The Satyricon. (Burnaby’s Translation, 1694.) Intro. by C.K. Scott Moncrieff.
19. PRIOR. Shorter Poems. lntro. by Francis Bickley.
20. DONNE. Devotions and Death’s Duell. lntro. by William H. Draper.
21. DEFOE. Moll Flanders. lntro. by W.H. Davies.
22. DEFOE. Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress. Intro. by R. Brimley Johnson.
23. HELIODORUS. The Aethiopian History. (Underdowne’s Translation.) Intro. by George Saintsbury.
24. JOHNSON. Journal of a Tour in the Western Islands. lntro. by John Freeman.

US Abbey Classics List:
* = different in US list from UK list
** = different in US list from UK list, possibly not published.

1. SIR JAMES MELVILLE OF HALHILL. Memoirs of his own life. Intro. by W. Mackay Mackenzie.
2. WILLIAM BECKFORD. Vathek. Intro. by R. Brimley Johnson.
3. WILLIAM BECKFORD. The Episodes of Vathek. Intro. by Lewis Melville.
4. STERNE. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. Intro. by Francis Bickley.
5. COBBETT. Journal of a Year’s Residence in America. Intro. by John Freeman.
6. APULEIUS. The Golden Asse. (Adlington’s Translation, 1566).
7. VOLTAIRE. Candide. Intro. by A.B. Walkley.
8. PETER BECKFORD. Thoughts on Hunting. Intro. by Charles Richardson.
9. DISRAELI. The Letters of Runnymede. Intro. by Francis Bickley.
*10. LORD CHESTERFIELD. Letters to his Son.
*11. BENJAMIN SWIFT. Gulliver’s Travels.
12. HERMAN MELVILLE. Mardi.
13. LONGUS. Daphnis & Chloe. (Thornley’s Translation, 1657.) Intro. by George Saintsbury.
14. JOHN GAY. Poems. Intro. by Francis Bickley.
15. JOHN GAY. Plays. Vol. I.
16. JOHN GAY. Plays. Vol. II.
17. ERASMUS. Twenty Select Colloquies. (L’Eatrange’s Translation, 1680.) Intro. by Charles Whibley.
18. PETRONIUS. The Satyricon. (Burnaby’s Translation, 1694.) Intro. by C.K. Scott Moncrieff.
19. PRIOR. Shorter Poems. lntro. by Francis Bickley.
20. DONNE. Devotions and Death’s Duell. lntro. by William H. Draper.
**21. HELOISE & ABELARD. The Letters.
**22. ANTHONY HAMILTON. The Memoirs of Gramont.
23. HELIODORUS. The Aethiopian History. (Underdowne’s Translation.) Intro. by George Saintsbury.
24. JOHNSON. Journal of a Tour in the Western Islands. lntro. by John Freeman.


he Abbey Classics name was adopted for an unrelated series of classics in the 1950s.