Horizon Books

T. Nelson & Sons Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1937-1941
Size: 5.75″ x 8″

Nelson’s Horizon Books were a series of 12 announced and 11 published new books aimed at a young adult readership. 10 titles were published in 1937 and 1 in 1938. Reprints appear through 1941. Two titles are reprinted in 1947 with what appears to be the same dust jacket design, but they don’t seem to indicate the Horizon Books series.

From the rear jacket flap:

“It is one of the adventures of growing up that new roads, new names, new books may at any moment of any day reveal new and unsuspected horizons. The younger generation asks more and more for books which shall answer its many questions and show it which way to look, and it is in answer to this need that the Horizon Books have been planned.

Horizon Books supply answers worth hearing to questions which were worth asking. That is their only condition. They are concerned alike with the past, the present, and the future: with science and the modern world, with ancient times, the lives of great people, and adventure throughout the ages. They are exciting books, simple, vivid, and accurate, and all have been written by authors of high reputation who have a genuine enthusiasm for their subject. Horizon Books are a series of a really new kind. Grown-ups could read them with pleasure, but young readers will claim them for their own.

Nelsons will be pleased to send you, post free, their new lists of Books for Boys and Girls, Nelson Classics, or General Books. Send a post card to-day to Nelsons, 35-36 Paternoster Row, London, E.C.4.”

An advertisement for the new series appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Saturday, December 11, 1937, p.936. The titles are broken down by the author in this advertisement.

This copy of Leonardo the Inventor by Lorna Lewis is dated March 1940 and is the 4th printing of this title, originally published in 1937 as #6 in the series.  Jackets are unique to each title but follow a shared overall design. The series name appears at the top of the jacket spine, and front of the jacket. The price of 3/6 is on the jacket spine and front flap. The series editor is included on the front of the jacket (along with the title and author). The front jacket flap describes the book.

The rear jacket flap describes the series (transcribed at the opening of this entry). The back of the jacket includes the 11 titles published in the series. One title, Mussolini-Hitler-Stalin, is listed as #4 in the catalog in the back of the book but is not included in the list on the jacket. The list of 12 titles in the back of the book was the originally planned series of 12 titles. By the time this book was printed in 1940, the Mussolini-Hitler-Stalin title was canceled from the series and left off the list of titles on the jacket. There is no indication of series number on the jacket or the list on the back of the jacket. The catalog in the back of the book does include series numbers.

Titles in the series are below. I’ve included the initial year each title was issued, and subsequent printings (this may not be a complete list of printings).


Edited by Dr. G.B. Harrison

Answers worth hearing to questions which were worth asking – a series of unique books for boys and girls by outstanding writers.

All fully illustrated. Each 3s. 6d. net.

1. Digging For History, by G.B. Harrison (1937, 1938, 1947**)
2. Conquering Space And Time, by A.M. Low (1937, 1939)
3. The Man Who Asked Questions, L.A.G. Strong (1937, 1938)
*4. Mussolini-Hitler-Stalin
5. Paladins In Spain, by Eleanor Farjeon (1937)
6. Leonardo The Inventor, by Lorna Lewis (1937, 1938, 1939, 1940)
7. Life And Its Story, by A.M. Low (1937)
8. The Wanderings Of Ulysses, by G.B. Harrison (1937, 1938)
9. Henry Of Agincourt, by L.A.G. Strong (1937, 1938)
10. Nansen, by Lorna Lewis (1937, 1938, 1939, 1941)
11. The Wonders Of Herodotus, by Eleanor Farjeon (1937, 1947**)
12. A Woman Among Wild Men, by Helen Simpson (1938)

*not published (ghost title)
**reprint but probably not in Horizon Books series.

A plain green cloth binding includes printed title and author and publisher. The series name is not included on the book itself.

The half-title page:

A prospectus for the series, including the editorial committee follows the half-title page and precedes the title page.

An illustration faces the title page:

The copyright page includes the publisher and four impressions of this particular title in the Horizon Books series.

“Printed in Great Britain at the Press of the Publishers.”

A catalog of the 12 titles planned for the series is included at the end of the book. The titles are numbered, and the list includes one title, #4, Mussolini-Hitler-Stalin which was never published (it is absent from the list of titles on the back of the dust jacket). This probably indicates that Nelson just reprinted the original (1937) book (catalog and all) with no adjustments to the catalog.