English Series

Ronald Press Co. (New York, US)
Series dates: 1928-1958
Size: 5″ x 7.25″ (may vary)

The Ronald Press Company was established in 1900 and published well over 1000 titles, primarily textbooks and reference books, in the fields of business, accounting, taxation, sports, education, psychology and technology. The Press had numerous non-ficiton series: The Folk Dance Library, The Ronald Sports Library, the Ronald Aeronautic Library, the Wood Processing Series, the Ronald Series in History, the inexplicable Ronograph Library, and the ever-popular Tax Practitioners’ Library. Information on the company’s origins and history is nearly non-existent in typical sources and on the web.

Scattered throughout Ronald Press’ catalog are smaller format literary reprints and edited collections that are listed as the English Series and sometimes the Ernest Bernbaum English Series in WorldCat but that series name is not always indicated on the books or jackets of titles in the series. Bernbaum was the editor for a number of the literature titles published by the Ronald Press. He was an opponent of the woman’s suffrage movement, and later on the faculty of the University of Illinois.

In 1977, according to the Wall Street Journal (September 23, 1977), “John Wiley & Sons Inc. agrees to acquire for cash ‘substantially all’ of stock of Ronald Press Co. Purchase will take place Oct 3 ’77.”

English Series titles, such as this copy of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, edited by Arthur E. Case and published in 1938, are the epitome of stoic book design. The jackets are distinctive for their lack of distinction, spare and devoid of decoration, blurbs, advertising for other books in the series, etc. The series name is even absent on this particular title. The jackets are, however, printed on heavy, coated, high-quality paper.

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The rear of the jacket and rear flap are completely blank.

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Books are of very good quality: in this case, heavy blue buckram with lighter blue typography.

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The half title page:

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The title page:

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The copyright page includes the date of publication as well as Library of Congress card number (which is not included on many other series books until the 1960s). A reproduction of the title page of the first volume of the first edition of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World), 1726.

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Below find a semi-complete list of literary titles published by the Ronald Press, many of which were part of the publisher’s English Series. Variant series names are noted (as taken from WorldCat). As indicated above, the English Series name is not always included on the books (or their jackets). Some of the titles seem to be US reprints from a Thomas Nelson series called English Readings (1919-1938).

1928: Selections from the Tattler, the Spectator And Their Successors, Walter Graham, ed.

1929: The City Day: An Anthology of Recent American Poetry (Modern America Series of English Texts), Eda Lou Walton, ed.

1929: The Best of Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Erwin Leisy, ed.

1929: Types of Literature in the Old Testament, Edward Chauncey Baldwin, ed.

1929: English Readings, Vol. 2: Sixteenth Century Literature, Gordon Hall Gerould, ed.

1929: The Best of Pope, George Sherburn, ed. (reprint, 1940, 1945, 1946)

1929: The Best of Carlyle, Herbert LeSourd Creek, ed.

1929: Anthology of Romanticism, Ernest Bernbaum, ed. (reprint, 1933)

1929: An Outline of World Literature: from Homer to the Present Day, Edgar C. Knowlton, ed.

1930: Readings in Language and Literature, Vincil C. Coulter, ed.

1930: Guide Through The Romantic Movement, Ernest Bernbaum, ed. (revised ed., 1939, reprint 1949)

1930: English Present and Past, Janet Rankin Aiken, ed.

1930: Five Significant English Plays, George Raleigh Coffman, ed.

1930: English Readings, Vol. 4: Victorian Literature, Ernest Bernbaum, ed. (reprint 1945)

1930: The Poems of John Milton. James Holly Hanford, ed. (reprint, 1936, 1946).

1930: The Best of Tennyson. Walter Graham, ed.

1931: Stories of the City (Modern America Series of English Texts), Henry Goodman, Bruce Carpenter, Homer A. Watt, eds.

1931: Ten Elizabethan Plays, Edwin J. Howard, ed.

1931: Selections from the Pre-Romantic Movement, Ernest Bernbaum, ed.

1932: Eighteenth Century Prose, Louis I. Bredvold, Robert K. Root, and George Sherburn, ed. (reprint, 1943)

1932: The Best Of Shelley, Newman I. White, ed. (reprint, 1945)

1933: The Career and Significance of Jesus, Walter B. Denny, ed.

1933: The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy, Ernest F. Amy, ed. (reprint, 1946)

1933: The Best of Dryden, Louis I. Bredvold, ed. (reprint, 1942, 1946)

1933: Keats, Shelley, Leigh Hunt, De Quincey, and Carlyle, Ernest Bernbaum, ed.

1934: The Best of Coleridge, Earl Leslie Griggs, ed. (reprint, 1941, 1945, 1947)

1935: The Prologue and Four Canterbury Tales: Geoffrey Chaucer, Gordon Hall Gerould, ed.

1935: Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Poems of Two Great Eras With Certain Contemporary Pieces, Gordon Hall Gerould, translator. (reprint, 1953)

1936: English Readings, Vol. ?: Victorian Poetry, E. K Brown, ed. (reprint, 1942)

1937: English Readings, Vol. 1: Old English and Medieval Literature, Gordon Hall Gerould, ed.

1937: The Best of Swinburne, Clyde Kenneth Hyder, Lewis Chase, ed.

1937: New Testament History and Literature, Henry Martin Battenhouse, ed. (reprint 1945)

1938: Gulliver’s Travels, Arthur E. Case, ed. (reprint, 1946)

1938: Twentieth Century Plays: Continental, Frank W. Chandler, Richard A. Cordell, ed.

1939: Twentieth Century Plays: American. Frank W. Chandler, Richard A. Cordell, ed. (reprint, 1942, 1946, 1947)

1939: Eighteenth Century Poetry & Prose, Ernest Bernbaum, series editor; Louis  Bredvold, Alan D. McKillop, Lois Whitney, ed. (reprint, 1946)

1941: Twentieth Century Plays: British, Frank W. Chandler, Richard A. Cordell, ed. (reprint 1943)

1941: The Best of Browning, William Hudson Rogers, ed. (reprint, 1942)

1942: Spanish Short Stories, Richard H. Olmsted & Raymond L. Grismar, ed.

1942: Opinions and Attitudes in the Twentieth Century, Stewart S. Morgan, William Thomas, eds.

1942: The Best of Byron, Richard Ashley Rice, ed. (reprint, 1947)

1943: Freedom Speaks: Ideals of Democracy in Poetry and Prose, George F. Reynolds, Donald F. Connors, eds.

1946: Representative Short Stories And a Brief Discussion of the Development of the Short Story, Amanda M. Ellis, ed.

1947: Readings from the Americas: An Introduction to Democratic Thought. Guy A. Cardwell, ed.

1947: Victorian Prose, Frederick William Roe, ed.

1947: Twentieth Century Plays: British, American, Continental; Eleven Representative Selections, Richard A. Cordell, ed.

1947: Poets of Christian Thought: Evaluations from Dante to T. S. Eliot, Henry M. Battenhouse, ed.

1947: Twentieth Century American Plays, Richard A. Cordell, ed.

1947: Eighteenth Century Literature, Richard Foster Jones, ed.

1948: Critiques and Essays in Criticism, 1920-1948, R.W. Stallman, ed. (reprint 1949)

1951: Best of Hawthorne, Mark van Doren, ed.

1953: Best of Whitman, Harold William Blodgett, ed.

1958: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: The Parliament of Fowls: Chaucer, E. Talbot Donaldson, ed.

1958: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale and The Reeve’s Tale, E. Talbot Donaldson, ed.