Argosy Books

T. Nelson & Sons Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1935-1948
Size: 5″ x 7.33″

“This new Nelson series will be welcome by those who value ample writing refreshing to minds weary of the alarums of our time. The main purpose being to answer the need for intelligent pleasure, books have been specially chosen that have a marked unity of mood and style.” (taken from rear of jacket).

The Argosy Books series was announced in The Publisher in 1935 (vol. 142, p. 529). Eight titles were published through 1936. No more titles appear until three titles were issued in 1948. No more titles were published after that date.

This copy of Nature and the Rambler by W.R. Clavert is a first issue in the revived series, published in 1948. Jackets are common to the series, with a common graphic design which varied in color from title to title. The author and title were modified for each series book. The series name is at the top of the spine and top of the front of the jacket. A blurb about the title is included on the front jacket flap. The price on this particular book is 5/7 marked down to 1/6, so a remainder, most likely, sold after the series was discontinued.

The 11 titles in the series are listed below. The initial eight issued in the 1930s had series numbers. I cannot at this time figure out the series number for The Young May Moon (it is either #5 or #6) and there is one unknown title (again, #5 or #6) most likely published in 1936.

1935: John Buchan, Prester John (#1)
1935: J. W. Marriott, Modern Essays and Sketches (#2)
1935: Frances Pitt, Wild Life Stories (#3)
1936: Ralph Straus, Dickens, The Man and the Book (#4)
1936: (?) (#?)
1936: Nora Lloyd, The Young May Moon (#?)
1936: Stephen Graham, The Gentle Art of Tramping (#7)
1936: F.B. Kirkman, The Best of White’s Selborne (#8)

1948: Hilaire Belloc, The Four Men
1948: W.R. Calvert, Nature and the Rambler
1948: Henry Williamson, An Anthology of Modern Nature Writing

The back of the jacket blurbs the series, then describes “The first three titles” in what was the three-title rebirth of the series in 1948. The three titles were new to the series. It’s not clear if any of the initial 8 titles were available at the time of this new issue. Reprints of those initial titles appear as late as 1941. The series did not continue past these final three titles.

Solid, green cloth bindings with gold stampings and a colophon (a ship) also used in the jacket design.

The half title page includes the series name and book title.

The title page is faced by a quote from Mary Webb.

The copyright page includes the initial book publication (March 1939) and first issue in the Argosy Books (1948). The table of contents follows.

The first page of text

The book was printed by the publisher.