John O’ London’s Little Books

George Newnes Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1924-1932
Size: 5.25″ x 6.5″

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George Newnes’¬†career in publishing began with his periodical¬†Tit-Bits,¬†funded by the profits from the sale (around 1881) of¬†his popular vegetarian restaurant in Manchester.¬†The Strand Magazine,¬†which first published the Sherlock Holmes stories, was also a Newnes publication. George Newnes Ltd. continues as an imprint of Elsevier.

John O’ London’s Little Books,¬†named after¬†the Newnes’ periodical¬†John O’London’s Weekly, were published from 1924 until 1932. A similar series, John O’ London’s Library, was published from 1934-1938.¬†The Little Books are¬†oddly shaped, nearly as wide as tall. The titles seem to be largely new edited collections and shorter non-fiction. The serial numbering for the series indicates¬†18 titles.

This copy of the collection More London Stories is undated but probably from 1928. Jackets are common to the series, printed on different colors of heavy paper. a London skyline crosses the top of the jacket, with the series name and number beneath it. The book title (and author, if relevant) and the price (2s./) are also on the front of the jacket. The jacket flaps are blank.

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The rear of the jacket lists the first 12 titles in the series.

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At least six additional titles were published:

#13: More London Stories. 1928
#14: George Allardice Riddell. Looking Round: A Miscellany. 1929
#15: Thomas Shaw Craigmyle. The Trial of Jesus Christ. 1928
#16: George Blake, ed., Scottish Treasure Trove, 1928
#17:¬†Gabrielle Chesterton &¬†Kenneth Chesterton.¬†Who was ‚Äď?:¬†A¬†Gallery of Immortal Characters. 1929
#18: Bernard Darwin. Second Shots: Casual Talks About Golf. 1930

Thanks to Robert Rendall for help updating the last 6 titles in the series.

The books are cloth-bound and repeat much of the dust jacket design, including the series name (but not the price and series number).

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This copy does not have a blank page before the half-title page. No page seems to have been removed, so this may be typical of the series. The half-title page includes the series name, number, and book title.

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A catalog of 12 titles in the series is on the reverse of the half-title page.

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The title page is faced with the one illustration in the book.

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There is no copyright information nor date, but a note does indicate the book was reprinted from an earlier two-volume illustrated set published by T.C. and E.C. Jack (and is reissued with permission of Nelson & Sons, who had acquired the Jack imprint).

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An advertisement for Newnes Strand Magazine is included on the last page in the book.

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