Dolphin Books

Chatto & Windus (London, UK)
Series dates: 1930-1932
Size:¬†5″ x 7.5″

dolphin_logo1The Dolphin Books were a¬†well-designed but short-lived Chatto & Windus series¬†of brief, literary works (maximum of 17,000 words) that were commissioned by the publisher, including¬†Samuel Beckett’s Proust, Thomas McGreevy’s Thomas Stearns Eliot, and H. M. Tomlinson’s Norman Douglas. The series is numbered up to #16 but #14 and #15 were not published, thus 14 unique titles in all. Some have become valuable, such as Samuel Beckett’s study of Proust, among Beckett’s earliest books.

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The 14 titles in the Dolphin Books include:

1930
#1. Vulgarity in Literature: Digressions from a Theme, by Aldous Huxley
#2. Alcestis, by Euripides, translated by Richard Aldington
#3. The New Providence, by R.H. Mottram

1931
#4. Thomas Stearns Eliot, A Study, by Thomas MacGreevy
#5. The Only Penitent, by Theodore Francis Powys
#6. Opus 7, by Sylvia Townsend Warner
#7. Proust, by Samuel Beckett
#8. London Street Games, by Norman Douglas, Anne Renier, Fernand Gabriel Renier, and H.M. Tomlinson
#9. The Far-Off Hills, A Comedy in Three Acts, by Lennox Robinson
#10. Richard Aldington: an Englishman, by Thomas MacGreevy
#11. Writers at Work, by Louise Morgan
#12. Norman Douglas, by H.M. Tomlinson
#13. Stepping Heavenward: A Record, by Richard Aldington

1932
*#14. Wyndham Lewis, by Roy Campbell.
#15. ?
#16. Dickens, by Osbert Sitwell

*Announced but not published in series. Wyndham Lewis recalled “Roy Campbell did write a book about me. He was commissioned to do so by Chatto & Windus. The book was set up in¬†type, and the publication about to be proceeded with, when Chatto’s became violently angry with me. They informed Campbell they would not proceed with the book.” (Review of Wyndham Lewis by Jeffrey Meyers and Roy Campbell. Author:¬†Rowland Smith,¬†Research in African Literatures, Vol. 18, No. 1, Spring, 1987, pp. 118-122). The book was published in 1985: Wyndham Lewis, by Roy Campbell; edited by Jeffrey Meyers. (Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press)


A copy of R.H. Mottram’s The New Providence first published in the series in 1930. It is among the first three titles in the series. Jackets are common to the series and consist of a stylized dolphin and flowing, what, seaweed? pattern. The design continues on the spine. The front jacket flap is blank except for the 2s. net price.

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The initial three titles are listed on the back of the jacket along with forthcoming titles.

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An elaborately printed binding (on boards) replicates some of the design elements of the jacket. The series name is included at the top of the front cover.

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Title page with the series name:

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The three initial (1930) titles in the series are listed facing the title page. The date is included under the publisher’s imprint.

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Copyright 1930.

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