Century Library

Eyre & Spottiswoode (London, UK)
Series dates: 1947-1950
Size: 4.75″ x 7″

centurylib_logoEyre & Spottiswoode has roots back to the 1840s and was the Kings Printer until 1929 when it continued as an independent publisher. The Century Library was a post-WW2 series of reprints largely from the publisher’s back catalog. Six titles were issued in 1947 and two more in 1948. About five more titles were added through 1950. A few reprints of series titles happen throughout the 1950s.

At least one illustrated jacket was created (for James’ The Wings of the Dove). Most jackets are, however, common to the series such as this 1947 printing of Morrison’s The Hole in the Wall. The series name and serial number are indicated on the jacket front. A prospectus for the series is on the front jacket flap. Price is 6s net. F.P. Nichols is noted as the jacket designer.


The back of the jacket lists the initial six titles in the series and additional titles in preparation. According to WorldCat some, but not all of the forthcoming titles were published.


Simple cloth bindings with the author/title on the book spine.


A repeating pattern of the series logo graces the endpapers.


The half-title page includes the series name, serial number for the title, book information and author of the introduction.


The title page:


Copyright page indicates first printing in the Century Library in 1947.


Two more copies of Century Library series books: Jacobs’ Dialstone Lane (1947) and James The Wings of the Dove (1948).


The rear jacket of the James title indicates eight titles in print with more to come.