Academy Books

Jonathan Cape (London, UK)
Series dates: 1933-1943
Size: 9″ x 6″

The Academy Books series consisted of reprinted non-fiction scholarly titles, published from 1930 through 1943, with a few reprints until 1970. All were seen to be books of lasting interest. The series seems to have gone to #38, published in 1943. The numbered titles include:

#1: Frances Hackett, Henry XVIII (1933)
#2: Isaac Don Levine, Stalin, A Biography (1933)
#3: Sir George McMunn, The Romance of the Indian Frontiers (1933)
#4: G. Elliot Smith, Human History (1933)
#5: Roland Strasser, The Mongolian Hoard (1933)
#6: Malcolm Elwin, Charles Reade (1934)
#7: G.R. Stirling Taylor, Robert Walpole at His Age (1933)
#8: Wilhelm Dibelous, England (1934)
#9: Marquis de la Ture du Pin, Recollections of the Revolution and Empire (1933)
#10: J.Y.T. Greig, David Hume (1934)
#11: Denis Gwynn, The Life and Death of Roger Casement (1934)
#12: Frank A. Munby, Publishing and Bookselling (1934)
#13: Jacques Bainville, Napoleon (1934)
#14: Duff Cooper, Talleyrand (1934)
#15: Julius Meier-Graefe, Pyramid and Temple (1934)
#16: Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt (1934)
#17: Bernard Pares, My Russian Memoirs (1935)
#18: Guy de Pourtales, Richard Wagner (1935)
#19: Grace E. Thompson, The First Gentleman (1935)
#20: Basil Henry Liddell Hart, T.E. Lawrence in Arabia and After (1935)
#21: Malcolm Elwin, Thackeray (1935)
#22: M.A. Gibb, Buckingham, 1592-1628 (1935)
#23: Pierre Gaxotte & J. Lewis May, Louis the Fifteenth and his Times (1937)
#24: Malcolm Elwin, Victorian Wallflowers (1937)
#25: Willard Connely, Sir Richard Steele (1937)
#26: Saul Kussiel Padover, The Revolutionary Emperor, Joseph the Second (1938)
#27: Michael De la Bedoyere, Lafayette (1936)
#28: Eric Linklater, Ben Jonson and King James (1938)
#29: Denis Saurat, A History of Religions (1938)
#30: Helene Du Coudray, Metternich (1938)
#31: Auguste Bailly, The Cardinal Dictator (1939)
#32: Frantz Funck-Brentano, Luther (1939)
#33: C.E. Vulliamy, Mrs. Thrale of Streatham (1939)
#34: Jacques Bainville & Hamish Miles, The French Republic, 1870-1935 (1940)
#35: Constantin de Grunwald, Baron Stein, Enemy of Napoleon (1940)
#36: C.E. Vulliamy, Royal George (1940)
#37: Maurice Ashley, Oliver Cromwell (1940)
#38: David Charles Douglas, English Scholars (1943)

The series list was completed thanks to a catalog (PDF) of the first 20 titles in the series (published probably mid-1935) supplied by Oxford University Libraries.


Jackets for the series are common in design with the typography and geometric elements arranged in a striking modernist layout. This style of jacket design was used by Cape on many of its regular issues in the 1930s as well as series such as the Florin Books, Flexibles and Half-Crown Fiction.

Frank A. Mumby’s Publishing and Bookselling was first published by Cape in 1930 and first included in the series in 1934.

The series name, serial number and price (7s/6d) along with book title and publisher is included on the jacket spine. The front cover includes the same information, including the price (spelled out) and an “AB” series colophon. The front jacket flap blurbs the book. A price is also included on the front jacket flap.

The rear of the jacket lists the first 12 titles in the series including Publishing and Bookselling (which is #12). The book size (Demy 8vo) and price are also listed.

The binding is red cloth with yellow typography and the series colophon on the front of the book.

The first page appears to be the half-title, with series colophon. There may have been a blank page preceding the half-title, but it does not look like it.

The reverse of the half-title page includes the first eleven titles in the series.

An illustration faces the title page. The title page also includes the series colophon.

The copyright page includes the original (1930) and reprinted in the series dates (1934). “Printed in Great Britain by J. & J. Gray, Edinburgh, and bound by A.W. Bain & Co. Ltd. Paper made by John Dickinson & Co., Ltd.”

The first page of the table of contents:

The last page of the book, at the end of the index, includes a drawing of the Jonathan Cape headquarters in London.