Modern Masterpieces

Methuen & Company, Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1905-1941
Size: 4.5″ x 7″

Advertisements for Methuen’s Modern Masterpieces series appear from 1905 to 1941, with the majority in the mid to late 1920s. The series name does not show up in a search of WorldCat suggesting it was not printed in any of the books (including the one shown below), but only on the dust jacket. This may have made it easier to swap dust jackets and sell them as part of a different series – say the “Works of Conrad” (containing the Conrad titles also available in the Modern Masterpieces series).

A 1926 printing of Conrad’s Under Western Eyes (first series printing, 1917) dust jacket is common in design with a review quote on the front jacket flap. The jackets are heavy, linen and sturdy. The series name is not included on the spine or jacket front.


The only place the series name is indicated is the back of the jacket. There is a list of authors in the series, but besides six Conrad titles, the specific titles are not indicated.


The books have a heavier maroon binding stamped in gold.


A second book, Milne’s The Day’s Play, printed in 1927 (first printed in series in 1924), has a jacket similar to the Conrad title.


The back of the jacket lists other Milne titles in the series, and additional authors in the series.


The binding is in blue cloth.