Holborn Library

George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1947-1950
Size:¬†5″ x 7″

Harrap was a UK publisher of juvenile, educational, and illustrated books from about 1900-1986. The Holborn Library was a short-lived series of 18 musty classics published between 1947-1950. A¬†Manchester Guardian Weekly review from 1950 said the series was “attractively designed and artistically produced.” A British Book News review from 1950 claimed: “Apart from an ugly title-page and very ugly frontispiece, this is an attractive and useful reprint.” That about sums it up.


Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore
Lavengro, by George Borrow (reprint, 1974)
Guy Mannering, by Walter Scott
Ivanhoe, by Walter Scott
Treasure Island and the Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The History of Henry Esmond, by William Makepeace Thackeray
Framley Parsonage, by Anthony Trollope

David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, by James Justinian Morier
An Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Wuthering Heights, by¬†Emily Bront√ę
The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens
Selections From the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, selected by J.W. Saunders
The History of England, by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Selections From the Paston Letters, selected by John Fenn
Kidnapped and Catriona, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Rural Rides, by William Cobbett, edited by S.E. Buckley

By and large, typical classics in a series distinguished by nothing (but the ugly bits). Jackets have illustrations, in this case, a sneering Thackeray. Price on this first year of the series printing (1947) is 5p/-. Additional series titles, all of the titles published in 1947, are included on the front and rear jacket flaps.


A blurb for the series on the back of the jacket notes the series “thin but opaque paper,” acceptable thickness, and appropriate size for a “week-end-bag.” A list of titles to be issued the following year appear on the rear jacket flap. One more title would be published in 1950.


Bindings are blue cloth with silver stamping.


The previously mentioned “ugly” frontispiece and title page. The series name is indicated in the book.


The copyright and printing information are on the copyright page. This copy was printed under still in place wartime economy standards.