Everyone’s Library

S.W. Partridge & Co. Ltd (London, UK)
Series dates: 1902-1930
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

S.W. Partridge & Co. Ltd. was established by Samuel William Partridge (1810-1903) in 1850 and was purchased by A. & C. Black in 1930. The imprint was used until the mid 1940s. Primarily known as a publisher of religious books and, in the early part of the 20th century, illustrated gift books and reprint series with decorated bindings.

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Everyone’s Library, which was advertised as early as 1902, was named prior to Dent’s Everyman’s Library (which began in 1906). A 1907 catalog from Partridge (in the rear of John Stuart’s Mr. John Kirk: the Children’s Friend (S.W. Partridge, 1907) describes Everybody’s Library as “A re-issue of Standard Works in a cheap form, containing from 320 to 500 pages, printed in the best style; with illustrations on art paper, and tastefully bound in Cloth Boards. 1s. each.”

Along with Everybody’s Library, a selection of additional series from Partridge included in the 1907 S.W. Partridge & Co. Catalog include:

Girls’ Imperial Library (juvenile, 2s/6d.)
Red Mountain Series (juvenile, 2s/6d.)
The Home Library (modern copyright fiction, 2s.)
Library of Standard Works by Famous Authors (classics, 2s.)
Partridge’s Eighteen Penny Classics (modern copyright fiction, 1s./6d.)
The Up-To-Date Library (modern copyright fiction, 1s./6d.)
The British Boy’s Library (juvenile, 1s./6d.)
The British Girl’s Library (juvenile, 1s./6d.)
The World’s Wonder’s Series (juvenile non-fiction, 1s./6d.)
Devotional Classics (religious, 1s./6d.)
Popular Missionary Biographies (religious, 1s./6d.)
Illustrated Reward Books (juvenile, 1s./6d.)
Onward Temperance Library (religious, 1s./6d.)
One Shilling Reward Books (juvenile, 1s.)
Cheap Reprints of Popular Books for the Young (juvenile, 1s.)
Everyone’s Library (classics, 1s.)
Books for Christian Workers (religious, 1s.)
The Marigold Series (classics, 1s.)
Cheap Pansy Series (juvenile, 1s.)

Everyone’s Library contains books that can be categorized as young adult / adult including Grimm’s and Anderson’s Fairy Tales, Little Women, Coral Island and Alice in Wonderland. Sixteen titles are advertised on the book jacket and in the book itself. The jackets are unique to each title and sport extensive decorations surrounding book illustrations on both the jacket front and spine. The series name is included on the bottom of the front of the jacket. The front flap lists titles in the series. “Each with an attractive Colored Wrapper.” Below the list of titles: “No book in this series is abridged. In some instances the sequel is included under the same cover.” There is no price on the book, but one could be placed in a circular space on the bottom of the spine.

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Juvenile Every Girl’s Library and Boy’s Adventure Series are advertised on the back of the jacket. “The Prince of Writers for Boys,” George Manville Fenn (and his fabulous beard) is advertised on the rear jacket flap.

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Bindings are cheap cloth with extensive art-deco designs.

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A catalog of series titles faces the half-title page.

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A color illustration, the same one used on the front of the jacket, faces the title page. An ink stamp on the title page of this book indicates it was donated by Rebecca Hussey’s Book Charity. The organization provides “religious and other useful books to institutions in the United Kingdom …  by offering support to libraries in small institutions where religious study and development are encouraged.” The date on the stamp seems to be April of 1920. Advertisements for Everyone’s Library no longer appear after the mid-teens, but the series is likely to have been sold for at least a decade afterwards.

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There are no dates on the copyright page, which instead includes the printers information. There are no dates in the book.

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The last two pages of the book have listings for two series. The first is the Daring and Doing Series for boys.

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The Stirring Stories Series is advertised on the last page of the book.

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