Bilingual Series

aka/ Harrap’s Bilingual Series
aka/ Brentano’s Bilingual Series

George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1919-1972
Size: 4″ x 6.25″

Brentano’s (New York, US)
Series dates: 1921-1933

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A diminutive series of mostly literature with the English translation facing the text in its original language on each two page spread. Titles in French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, German, Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Portuguese were published. The series was issued as both paperback and hardcovers from its inception. Brentano’s published the series in the US (at least in its paperbound form) until Brentano’s was sold to Coward-McCann in 1933. The series seems to have continued to be printed under the Brentano’s imprint in the U.S. until the 1950s.

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Advertisement for Brentano’s Bilingual Series, from Publisher’s Weekly, July 24, 1920.

A list of titles in the series can be found at the Publishing History web site under Harrap’s Bilingual Series.

This copy of Adalbert Stifter’s Bergkristall (Rock Crystal) was first published in 1950 in the series. This jacket design, common to the series, replaced earlier text only jacket designs. The jackets appeared in different colors (orange, grey, blue, green) which may have been coded to the language. The series name with a Harrap’s logo is placed at the top of the front of the jacket. The series name is repeated on the lower part of the jacket front. The front jacket flap is blank.

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The back of the jacket includes a note regarding a list of titles in the series from the publisher.

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Bindings are cloth, in this case a pale orange corresponding to the bold orange on the jacket. The Harrap colophon and series name are included on the front of the book.

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The half title page:

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Copyright and publishing information face the title age. Printer information is also included. The title page includes the series name, shortened to Bilingual Series. Originally, as the series was sold by Brentano’s in the U.S., the series name was not prefaced by “Harrap’s.” The translator is noted.

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The introduction, in both German and English provides an example of the format of the book.

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