Albemarle Library

aka/ Albemarle Library For Schools (1954-1978)

John Murray (London, UK)
Series dates: 1947-1978
Size: 5.25″ x 8″

The publisher John Murray, founded in 1768, had an impressive back-list of titles available by 1947 when the Albemarle Library began. The series is to be, according to an announcement in The¬†Publisher (vol. 161, 1947), “a comprehensive library of contemporary non-fiction works by modern authors, on a wide range of subjects.” Titles in the series were carefully edited and, in some cases, condensed or modified from the originals to make the books more accessible to a modern audience. In the case of Memoirs of a Highland Lady, below, the original nearly 500-page book was edited down to about 300 pages. These edits were, however, seemingly done by competent, academic editors.

In 1954 new titles in the series use the name Albemarle Library for Schools. Previously published titles in the series continue to carry the original series name.

Dust jackets are common to the series in most cases. A few unique designs were used, such as that for C.F. Meade’s¬†Approach to the Hills, originally published in 1940 and reissued in the Albemarle Library in 1947. This was probably because a recent set of jacket artwork was available.

The common jackets consist of red typography over a grey printed background. This copy of Elizabeth Grant’s Memoirs of a Highland Lady was originally published in 1897. The title, series name, publisher’s imprint, and colophon are included on the jacket spine. The series name is also included, as a series colophon, on the front of the jacket. The front jacket flap contains a brief biography of the author, and the price of 1 pound, net.

The back of the jacket is printed in grey, but with no typography. The rear flap lists titles in the series, at this time 9 books. Between 1947 and 1950, 10 titles were published in the Albemarle Library. Reprints occur as late as 1978. Between 1954 and 1965, 13 titles were published in the Albemarle Library for Schools. Reprints occur as late as 1978. A total of 23 titles were issued, then, in both of the Albemarle Libraries.

The Last of the Empresses: and the Passing from the Old China to the New, Daniele Varè (1947)
The Story of San Michele, 
by Axel Munthe (1947)
Raggle-Taggle, by Walter Starkie (1947)

A Winter in Arabia, by Freya Stark (1948)
Approach to the Hills, by C.F. Meade (1948)
The Private Letters of Princess Lieven to Prince Metternich, Peter Quennell, ed. (1948)

King George V, by John Gore (1949)

Memoirs of a Highland Lady, by Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus (1950)
Private Diaries of Daisy, Princess of Pless, D. Chapman-Huston, ed. (1950)
Queen Adelaide, by Mary Hopkirk (1950)

*Edward Wilson of the Antarctic: Naturalist and Friend, George Seaver (1954)

*A Pattern of Islands, by Arthur Grimble (1955)

*Aspects of the Short Story, by Edward Loring Black (1956)

*Modern Adventure, F.E.S. Finn, ed. (1958)

*Aspects of Science Fiction, Geoffrey Donald Doherty, ed. (1959, revised 1965)

*The Comic World of Dickens, Bernard N. Schilling, ed. (1959)

*Return to the Islands, by Arthur Grimble (1960)

*The Albemarle book of Modern Verse for Schools, by F.E.S. Finn (1962)
*Far Afield, by F.E.S Finn (1962)
*A Ring of Bells: Poems of John Betjeman (1962)
*Humorists of the Eighteenth Century, by George Glencairn Urwin (1962)

*Aspects of the Short Story, by E.L. Black & J.P. Parry, ed. 1965
*Second Orbit: A New Science Fiction Anthology for Schools, Geoffrey Donald Doherty, ed. (1965)

* Albemarle Library for Schools

Cream-colored cloth bindings include red typography on the book’s spine with the publisher’s name, but no series name.

The half-title page:

A catalog of 8 titles (all but the Memoirs) faces the title page. The title page includes the series colophon.

A detailed publishing history is included on the copyright page, consisting of the original edition (1898), its sixth impression (1928), the initial Albemarle Library edition published in 1950, and this, the third printing in the series, in 1967. The book was printed in Great Britain Butler & Tanner, Ltd.

The table of contents:

The table of contents and illustrations:

The first page of text: