Hurst & Blackett’s 7d. Novels

aka/ Hurst and Blackett‘s New Library of 7d. Copyright Novels
aka/ Hurst and Blackett’s 7d. Net. Novels
aka/ Hurst and Blackett’s Popular 7d. Novels

Hurst and Blackett Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1909-1917
Size: 4.5″ x 6.5″

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Founded in 1852 by Henry Blackett and his grandfather Daniel William Stow Hurst, Hurst and Blackett published a large number of low and mid-grade literature in cheap series. The publisher was acquired by Hutchinson around 1914. Hutchinson kept the firm as one of their imprints. Hutchinson’s 7d Novels are similar in design to the Hurst & Blackett’s 7d Novels from around 1914. In 1939 the imprint published a translation of Mein Kampf.

In addition to the 7d. series, other Hurst and Blackett series include:

Hurst and Blackett‘s Copyright Novels (1890, 1905)
Hurst and Blackett‘s 6d. Copyright Novels (1910)
Hurst and Blackett‘s I/- net Novels (1913)
Hurst & Blackett‘s Famous Copyright Novels (1930)
Hurst & Blackett‘s Famous 6d. Novels (1930)

The Toucan Novels (a few hardcovers but mostly paperbacks, seem to gather up and reprint titles from all the various Hurst and Blackett series, 1930-1948)
Arcadian Novels (a romance series, 1972-74)

As with many other cheap hardcover series published in the 1900-1920 time span, the name of the series name comes from its price, and there is often confusion about the exact name of the series. There are at least four variations in the name of Hurst and Blackett’s 7d. series in WorldCat (listed above). An advertisement from 1907 (below) suggests the series began around that date. It’s notable that, as with other popular late 19th and early 20th century cheap reprint series, many of the authors are women.

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Red Peril by Coulson Kernahan, Hurst and Blackett, 1907.

A copy of Edna Lyall’s In the Golden Days has no publication date, but is probably printed in the 1912-1915 timeframe based on the advertisement below (from a 1912 issue of the Publishers’ Circular).

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The series jacket has unique design, as do others in the series (as is typically the case of these cheap novel reprint series from the era. The price is on the spine (7d. Net). The series name is Hurst & Blackett’s 7d Net Novels. On the top of the jacket flap, the series is Hurst & Blackett’s Popular 7d. Novels. Additional titles in the series are organized by the author, on the front flap. Few are authors remembered today, besides Mary Elizabeth Braddon.

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The list of series titles continues on the rear flap. Mrs. Oliphant is another series author that is of some note. As with other series from the era (Collins Classics, Wayfarer’s Library) the rear of the jacket is given over to advertisement, Fry’s cocoa in this case. A cocoa-ed up baby graces the advertisement.

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Bindings are somewhat higher quality than other similar series from the era. Dark green cloth with some basic decorations. An advertising innovation is the Fry’s Breakfast Cocoa advertisement printed on the back of the book. Thus if you toss the jacket, you still have the advertisement on the book itself.

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What is probably a complete list of titles from near the end of the series is included on the page preceding the title page. There is no half-title page.

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An illustration (which is reproduced in color on the jacket front) faces the decorative title page. The book also lacks a copyright page.

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