English Library

Internationale Bibliothek (Berlin, Germany)
Series dates: 1921-1926
Size: 4.5″ x 7″

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Internationale Bibliothek was a left-leaning publisher in Berlin from about 1920 to 1931. There is little information on the publisher or their English language series, the English Library. The series titles are all typical English language classics. The first title in the series, Eliot’s Silas Marner, was published in 1921, and the last, Macaulay’s Select Critical Essays, was published as #19 in 1923. Two more Macaulay titles were listed as “in preparation” but don’t seem to have been published. One title appears in WorldCat with a 1926 date (which may be a mistake or a reprint). The series may have been an attempt to grab some sales from the very popular Tauchnitz Editions, paperbound (with a few hardcovers) English language titles sold throughout Europe (but not the UK).

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is among the first five titles published in the English Series with a 1921 publication date. The overall design of the jackets and books remains unchanged over the life of the series, but there are minor differences in the jacket design. The jackets are common to the series, but use a somewhat unique set of both serif and san serif typefaces. The spines contain the author and title in a green box, the series number and a stylized “EL” is at the base of the jacket spines. The jacket fronts, along with the author and title, contain a stylized “IB” based on the publisher’s name. The front flap lists five available titles with six more listed as in preparation.

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Jacket back and rear flap are blank, except for a repetition of the green border from the front of the jacket.

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Book bindings are cloth, in green. The overall quality of the books is better than average. There are no markings besides the author and title on the book covers.

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Endpapers (front and back) are printed with a simple border which repeats several pages into the book.

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The half title page and facing page both have the same border design.

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The title page includes the series name, series number and date of publication.

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There is no indication of copyright or other information on the copyright page.

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The last page in the book, and rear endpaper, contain the border design. The printer, Spamer, Leipsic, is included on the last page.

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A 1922 copy of Poe’s Poems and Essays reveals 10 titles in print on the jacket flap, with 8 more in preparation. The green color used on the jackets is darker and the title and author on the spine are now reversed out of the green box (rather than black type over the green box). This design is maintained on the jackets for the rest of the copies below.

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A 1922 copy of Ainsworth’s Jack Sheppard shows 12 titles in print with 6 in preparation.

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A 1922 copy of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility shows 16 titles in print with 5 in preparation.

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What seems to be the last title issued, #19, Macaulay’s Select Critical Essays, lists 18 titles in print (not including this title) with a 1923 publication date. Two additional Macaulay titles, Select Historical and Political Essays, and Biographical Essays are listed as in preparation but there is no evidence (WorldCat) that they were published.

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A list of the 19 titles published in Internationale Bibliothek’s English Series:

1. George Eliot, Silas Marner
2. Keats, Poems
3. Nathanial Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance
4. W.M. Thackeray, The History of Samuel Titmarsh, and the Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan
5. Nathanial Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
6. Edgar Allan Poe, Poems and Essays
7. Edgar Allan Poe, Select Tales
8. Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield and Other Works
9. De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
10. O.W. Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table
11. Swift, The Tale of a Tub and Other Works
12. W. Harrison Ainsworth, Jack Sheppard
13. N. Hawthorne, Twice-told Tales
14. Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
15-16. O.W. Holmes, Elsie Venner
17. Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby; or, the new Generation
18. Charles Dickens, Christmas Stories
19. T.B. Macaulay, Select Critical Essays

Listed as in preparation in 1923, but probably not published:

T.B. Macaulay, Select Historical and Political Essays
T.B. Macaulay, Biographical Essays