Centaur Classics

Centaur Press (London, UK)
Series dates: 1960-1972
Size: 4.5″ x 6.75″

Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, Il, US)
Series dates: 1960-1972
Size: 4.5″ x 6.75″


The Centaur Classics were a 1960s hardcover reprint series seemingly mean to compete with series such as the Modern Library and Everyman’s Library. The series had an academic tone and included some “classics” that were not in other major series. The Centaur Classics were published in the UK by the Centaur Press (not to be confused with the New York-based Centaur Press, active around the same time and also issuing reprint series, primarily paperbacks) and in the US by the Southern Illinois University Press.

This copy of The Poems of John Oldham is dated 1960, when the series began, and is one of the UK editions.

Series jackets are common to the series, with an abstract pattern of rectangles crossing the jacket (back, spine, front and flaps). Colors varied, including green, olive, red, grey, orange, blue, teal and purple. The series name is indicated on the bottom of the front of the jacket. A summary of the book is included on the front jacket flap, along with the price (21s. net).


The rear of the jacket lists additional titles, all under the editorship of J.M. Cohen. The rear flap includes a series prospectus from the editor.


The books are bound in blue cloth with gold typography.


The half title page includes the series name, general editor along with the book title.


The title page includes the date of printing (1960).


The copyright page indicates 1960 for the book and the introduction. Printing information is also included.