Illustrated Pocket Classics

Sub-series: Illustrated Pocket Classics for the Young (1904-1922)

Macmillan & Co., Ltd. (London, UK; New York, US)
Series dates: 1902-1951
Size: 4.5″ x 7″, 4.5″ x 6.45″

Macmillan’s Illustrated Pocket Classics made its debut in 1902, with a sub-series, Illustrated Pocket Classics for the Young, in first appearing in 1904. After 1922 the sub-series name disappears although some of its titles remain available. Macmillan also offered an Illustrated Pocket Dickens and Illustrated Pocket Scott series.

1904 and 1907 advertisements (below) for the Illustrated Pocket Classics and Pocket Classics for the Young series provide details about the titles, bindings and cost:

From the Bookseller, 1904

The illustrators for most titles are indicated in the advertisement.

from the Publisher’s Circle, 1907

Tentative list of titles in the Macmillan Illustrated Pocket Classics is below. This accounting includes 50 titles, one of which may be a ghost title (advertised, but not issued). An additional 13 titles were initially issued as part of the Illustrated Pocket Classics for the Young. Thus 63 titles total in the series, with one possible ghost title.

The majority of titles were published from 1902-1908, with a break until 1924-1928 when another group of new titles were published. Reprints can be found as late as 1951.

*1902: Jane Austin, Emma (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1902: Jane Austin, Mansfield Park (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1902: Jane Austin, Northanger Abbey & Persuasion (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1902: Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice (illus. by Charles E. Brock)
*1902: Jane Austin, Sense and Sensibility (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1902: Mrs. Gaskell, Cranford (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1902: Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (illus. by Hugh Thompson)

1903: Fanny Burney, Evelina (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1903: Maria Edgeworth, Belinda (illus. by Chris Hammond)
*1903: Maria Edgeworth, Helen (illus. by Chris Hammond)
*1903: Maria Edgeworth, Ormond (illus. by Carl Schloesser)
*1903: Maria Edgeworth, The Parent’s Assistant (illus. by Chris Hammond)
*1903: Maria Edgeworth, Popular Tales (illus. by Chris Hammond)
1903: Thomas Hood, The Humorous Poems (illus. by Charles E. Brock)
1903: Washington Irving, Old Christmas (illus. by Randolph Caldecott)
*1903: Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
*1903: W. Outram Tristram, Coaching Days and Coaching Ways (illus. by Hugh Thompson & Herbert Railton)

1904: Coridon’s Song, and Other Verses (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
1904: Days with Sir Roger de Coverley (illus. by Hugh Thompson)
1904: Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent and the Absentee (illus. by Chris Hammond)
1904: Washington Irving, Bracebridge Hall (illus. by Randolph Caldecott)

1905: J.H. Shorthouse, John Inglesant
1905: William Thackeray, The Newcomes (illus. by Richard Doyle)

1906: Washington Irving, Alhambra (illus. by Joseph Pennell)

1907: Washington Irving, Rip van Winkle (illus. by George H. Boughton)

1908: Lubbock, Pleasures of Life, Part 1
*1908: Richard Sheridan, The Rivals & The School for Scandal
*1908: Jonathan Swift, Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World (Gulliver’s Travels) (illus. by Charles E. Brock)

1924: Annie Keary, The Heroes of Asgard (illus. by Charles Huard)
**1924: John Lockwood Kipling, Beast and Man in India
*1924: Mrs. Molesworth, Little Miss Peggy (illus. by Walter Crane)
1924: J.H. Patterson, The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures 

*1925: W.S. Gilbert, The Bab Ballads (illus. by W.S. Gilbert)
*1925: W.S. Gilbert, More Bab Ballads (illus. by W.S. Gilbert)

*1926: W.S. Gilbert, Songs of Savoyard (illus. by W.S. Gilbert)

*1927: Thomas Love Peacock, Gryll Grange (illus. by F.H. Townsend)
*1927: Thomas Love Peacock, Melincourt, or, Sir Oran Haut-ton (illus. by F.H. Townsend)
*1927: Thomas Love Peacock, The Misfortunes of Elphin and Rhododaphne  (illus. by F.H. Townsend)
*1927: Thomas Love Peacock, Maid Marian and Crotchet Castle (illus. by F.H. Townsend)
*1927: Thomas Love Peacock, Headlong Hall and Nightmare Abbey (illus. by F.H. Townsend)

*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, The Black Arrow (illus. by H.M. Brock)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, Catriona (illus. by H.M. Brock)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Prince Otto (illus. by Edmund J. Sullivan)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, Island Nights’ Entertainments; The Body Snatcher; Fables
*
1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped (illus. by H.M. Brock)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, The Master of Ballantrae (illus. by H.M. Brock)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, The Merry Men (illus. by H.R. Millar)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, New Arabian Nights (illus. by H.R. Millar)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island (illus. by H.M. Brock)
*1928: Robert Louis Stevenson, Weir of Hermiston, The Misadventures of John Nicholson (illus. by Edmund J. Sullivan) 

* in print in 1937
** may be a ghost title (announced, but not published)

Tentative list of titles in the Macmillan Illustrated Pocket Classics for the Young (after 1922 these were available as part of the general series). This accounting includes 13 titles.

1902: J. Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (illus. by H.M. Brock)
1902: Frederick Marryat, Mr. Midshipman Easy (illus. by F. Pegram)

*1903: J. Fenimore Cooper, The Deerslayer (illus. by H.M. Brock)
*1903: J. Fenimore Cooper, The Pathfinder (illus. by Charles E. Brock)
*1903: Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s School Days (illus. by E.J. Sullivan)

*1904: Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (illus. by John Tenniel)
*1904: Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass (illus. by John Tenniel)
1904: J.W. Fortesque, The Story of a Red Deer
1904: Charles Kingsley, The Water-Babies (illus. by Charles E. Brock / Linley Sambourne)
*1904: Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho! (illus. by Charles E. Brock)
*1904: Frederick Marryat, The King’s Own (illus. by F.A. Townsend)
*1904: Frederick Marryat, Peter Simple (illus. by J.A. Symington)
1904: Christina G. Rosetti, Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book (illus. by Arthur Hughes)

* in print in 1937


The jackets and bindings for the Illustrated Pocket Classics and Illustrated Pocket Classics for the Young were similar, the only difference being the titles advertised on the rear of the jacket. Both the main and subseries seemed to share the same jacket and book design. The design of the jackets changed over time, as did the books: tweaks to the type and graphics.

This copy of Tom Brown’s School-Days is dated 1911. The jacket, as is common in the late 1800s and early 1900s, replicates the patterns and typography on the book itself. The book title, a spine-length design, the publisher, and a price (2/- net) are included on the spine. A Macmillan colophon is centered on the jacket front. The jacket flaps are blank.

The rear of the jacket lists 13 titles, all that were ever issued in the sub-series. This sub-series was aimed at what we would call “young adult” today. For Tom Brown’s School Days, the author, Thomas Hughes, is listed. His name is not in or on the book itself.

This copy of Tom Brown is in the cloth binding, blue with gold decorations and typography (repeated from the jackets). The Macmillan colophon is debossed on the front of the book.

The half title page:

On the reverse of the half-title page is the Macmillan imprint, with its UK, India, Australia, US and Canada divisions listed.

An illustrated frontispiece faces the title page. Both pages are outlined in blue. The author here is indicated as “An Old Boy.” The illustrator, Edmund Sullivan, is included. The date is below the London and New York imprints.

The copyright page indicates first printing in the series in 1904, with reprints in 1906 and 1911.

The first page of text:

The books were printed by Richard Clay & Sons, Ltd.


This copy of W.S. Gilbert’s The Bab Ballads was first issued in the series in 1925 (with the companion volume More Bab Ballads). This copy is the 6th printing in the series, and is dated 1937. This jacket and book are indicative of the jacket and book design used near the end of the series availability.

This book is .25″ shorter than the Tom Brown book above.

The jackets are common to the series. The jacket spine design (replicated on the book itself) has shrunk from the full spine design used on the copy of Tom Brown’s School-Days (above). The series name is included at the top of the front of the jacket (it wasn’t on the Tom Brown title, published in 1911). A sticker with the Macmillan New York imprint is placed on the front of the jacket. It is possible this is covering a price (which would be 3s./6d.). Macmillan in the UK and in the US were essentially independently run, but they did share stock (as this title indicates). The front jacket flap includes the book prices (cloth for 3s./6d. and leather for 5s.). A list of titles available in 1937 continues from the rear flap of the jacket.

The back of the jacket includes, again, book prices and begins a list of available titles that continues on the rear flap, and then the front flap.

Bindings have been simplified from the era of the Tom Brown title above: gone is the decoration on the front of the book, and the spine decoration has been reduced.

The design of the half-title page remains the same from the earlier book:

The boxed, in color, title page design also continues from the earlier book. The date (1937) is included under the Macmillan, London imprint.

The copyright page indicates: “Transferred to Macmillan and Co., Ltd, 1904” then “First published in Illustrated Pocket Classics in 1925” then “Reprinted 1926, 1927, 1930, 1934, 1937.” The book was printed by R & R Clark, Edinburgh, UK.

The first page of text:

The last three pages of the book have a catalog of titles in the series.