Magnolia Library

Hurst & Company (New York, US)
Series dates: 1906-1911
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

Publisher G.W. Dillingham of New York issued Dillingham’s Magnolia Library from about 1898-1905, predating Hurst’s series.

Hurst & Co. were a prolific publisher of cheap reprint series in the early 20th century. See the entry on Hurst’s Poetical Classics for more background on the publisher.

An advertisement including the Magnolia Library, from Hurst, 1909.

Hurst’s Magnolia Library was among the larger series books published by Hurst, at 5″ x 7.5″. Like many of Hurst’s series, these books seemed to be aimed at the gift market.


At least 163 titles were in the series. The monochrome jacket is a design common to the series; it mimics the design (in color) on the bookbinding (see below). Titles in the series are listed on the front jacket flap, as well as back and rear flap. They are organized alphabetically by the title of the book.


Illustrations of the delightful books accompany the joyous announcement that this series is “The sensation of the season!” The blurb refers to this series as “medium-priced books.” The virtues of the binding and decoration (“with side letterings and lithographic inlay panel in ten (10) colors”) are noted. Price is 50 cents.


The lauded book design includes a green binding material with a glued on lithograph of a magnolia flower.


No dates are included on the title page, there is no copyright page.


A page in the rear of the book indicates “Reasons why you should obtain a Catalog of our Publications.” “A postal to us will place it in your hands.”