Drama Library

William Heinemann (London, UK)
Series dates: 1949-1996

Theatre Arts Books (New York, US)
Series dates: 1956-1985
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

While some titles have earlier dates, I believe Heinemann’s Drama Library, edited by Edward Thompson, began in 1949 with two titles. Over the next three decades, at least 74 titles were published, in hardcover and (later) in paperback. The books slavishly followed the same modest design (jacket and book) with a few exceptions and a redesign late in the series life. Theatre Arts Books distributed the books in the US. Theatre Arts Books name is on the jackets, but not on or in the book itself (thus the books were rejacketed Heinemann copies sold in the US).

The earliest book I can find from the Drama Library with the Theatre Arts Books imprint is 1956, but they may have distributed the series before that date.

A common jacket design is used on almost every book throughout series 3+ decades (with a few exceptions). An oval on the jacket front is surrounded by a varying color background. The title and author are on the jacket spine. The series name is at the top of the front of the jacket. The title and author fill the white center of the oval. The publisher – in this case, the US distributor of the series, Theatre Arts Books – is at the bottom of the jacket front. On Heinemann copies, their name appears on the jacket front. The front jacket flap describes the book. The price for this 1962 2nd edition (the first was 1957) of Ludvig Holberg’s Three Comedies.

The back of the jacket advertises another title, The Plays of Courteline, as a TAB Paperbook (#7). This book was also available in the Drama Library. Additional titles in the series are listed on the rear jacket flap.

The book is bound in cream cloth with red typography. Heinemann is the publisher on the book spine.

The half-title page:

A list of 52 titles in the Drama Libary faces the title page. There were an additional 12 titles issued before this particular book (1962) that may have been out of print (they are not on the list). There were an additional ten titles issued after this book. The title page has the Heinemann imprint.

The Drama Library
General Editor: Edward Thompson

Noah, Andre Obey (1949)
The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde (1949)
Time and The Conways, J.B. Priestley (1950)
Ten Diminutive Dramas, Maurice Baring (1951)
Hassan, J.E. Flecker (1951)
The Government Inspector, Nikolai Gogol (1953)
A Month in The Country, Ivan Turgenev (1953)
Cyrano De Bergerac, Edmond Rostand (1953)
An Enemy Of The People, Henrik Ibsen (1951)
The Wild Duck, Henrik Ibsen (1958)
Brand, Henrik Ibsen (1960)
Three Medieval Plays, Edited: John Allen (1953)
Gossips, John Allen (1952)
The Snow Queen, Suria Magito and Rudolf Weil (1951)
The Satire Of The Three Estates, Sir David Lindsay (1951)
Emmanuel, James Forsyth (1952)
The Road To Emmaus, James Forsyth (1958)
Heloise, James Forsyth (1958)
Like Stars Appearing, Viscount Duncannon (1953)
Two Saints’ Plays, Leo Lehman: Robert Gittings (1954)
Through a Glass Lightly, Robert Gittings (1952)
Out of This Wood, Robert Gittings (1955)
The Player King, Christopher Hassall (1953)
Christ’s Comet, Christopher Hassall (1958)
Will Shakespeare, Clemence Dane (1951)
Spring, 1600, Emlyn Williams (1953)
Trespass, Emlyn Williams (1954)
Someone Waiting, Emlyn Williams (1955)
The Corn Is Green, Emlyn Williams (1956)
The Light of Heart, Emlyn Williams (1957)
Beth, Emlyn Williams (1959)
The Wind of Heaven, Emlyn Williams (1955)
Night Must Fall, Emlyn Williams (1961)
Cavalcade, Noel Coward (1960)
Letter From Paris, Dodie Smith (1954)
Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Luigi Pirandello (1954)
Birthday Message, Tyrone Guthrie (1952)
The Asset, Robert Kemp (1952)
Good Friday, John Masefield (1955)
The Living Room, Graham Greene (1953)
Dark of The Moon, Richardson and Berney (1956)
The Teahouse Of The August Moon, John Patrick (1952)
The Chester Mystery Plays, Maurice Hussey (1957)
Hotel Paradiso, Feydeau and Desvallieres (1956)
Three Comedies, Ludvig Holberg (1957)
Dandy Dick, A.W. Pinero (1959)
Miss Julie And Other Plays, August Strindberg (1960)
The Plays Of Courteline, Edited: Albert Bermel (1961)
The Tiger And The Horse, Robert Bolt (1961)
A Man For All Seasons, Robert Bolt (1960)
Topaze, Marcel Pagnol (1963)
The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov (1963)

Titles in the series but not in Theatre Arts Books Drama Library list (above). Discontinued titles and titles issued after 1964.

Tamburlaine the Great, by Christopher Marlowe (1951)
The Makers of Violence, Robert Gittings (1951)
Four One-Act Plays, Tyrone Guthrie (Birthday Message); Robert Kemp (Asset); John Allen (Gossips); Robert Gittings (Through a Glass, Lightly) (1952)
Out Of the Whirlwind, Christopher Hassall (1953)
His Eminence of England, Hugh Ross Williamson (1953)
Carrington, V.C., Dorthy Christie (1954)
The Second Book of One-Act Plays, H.F. Rubinstein (1954)
Bernard Shaw in Heaven, Harold F. Rubinstein (1954)
Sabrina Fair, or, A Woman of the World, Samuel Taylor (1954)
I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith (1955)
The Brontë Sisters, Robert Gittings (1957)
Our Clouded Hills, Robert Gittings (1957)
Four Continental Plays, Editor: John Allen (1964)
Day’s Beginning, Willis Hall (1964)
Night of Errors, Harold Rubinstein (1964)
Gentle Jack, Robert Bolt (1965)
Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen (1965)z
Hay Fever, Noel Coward (1965)
Captain Swing, by Michael Barwis (1965)
Ivanov, Anton Chekhov (1966)
The Play of the Weather, John Heywood (1968)
The Ruling Class, Peter Barnes (1969)

The copyright is 1957, this particular book was reprinted in 1961. “Published by Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 15-16 Queen Street, Mayfair, London W.I. Printed in Great Britain for the Publishers by J. and J. Gray, Edinburgh.”