Arrowsmith’s Fiction Series

J.W. Arrowsmith Ltd. (Bristol, UK)
Series dates: 1943-1948
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

Unusual in that it was not located in London, Arrowsmith was a printer and publisher in Bristol founded in 1884 and closed in 1986. Arrowsmith was the publisher of Jerome K. Jerome, Anthony Hope, and George and Weedon Grossmith (The Diary of a Nobody). Arrowsmith published several series during its existence:

1884-1930: Arrowsmith’s Bristol Library
1892-1924: Arrowsmith’s 3/6 Series
ca. 1942: Arrowsmith’s Fiction Favorites (paperback)

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Arrowsmith’s Fiction Series raided the back catalog for a post-WW2 series of reprints. The series was not advertised and was made even more obscure by the fact that the series name was indicated only on the book jackets. It’s not clear when the series was initiated nor when it ended nor how many titles it included: the best guess is no more than 7 or 8 titles published in the mid to late 1940s.

This mangled jacket is typical of the series with unique designs for each title. In this case, Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men on the Bummel with a July 1948 date and indication as the 38th impression. There is no series indication on the jacket front, spine or flap. The flap is blank except for a price (punched out in this case).

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The series name (and only indication that the title was part of a series) is on the jacket rear, with 7 titles listed as “uniform with this volume.”

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Blue cloth bindings have black typography on the spine and no other decoration.

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The book is printed on cheap paper. The half-title page:

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The title page, faced by an indication that War Economy Book Production Standards are still in place.

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The copyright page includes the date of printing and indication the book is the 38th impression of the book originally published in 1900.

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