Modern Standard Authors

Charles Scribner’s Sons (New York, US)
Series dates: 1934-1983
Size: 5.75″ x 8.5″

Scribner’s Modern Standard Authors series seems to be first published in 1934, despite some titles with earlier publication years in WorldCat. 1934 is the first year the series appears in the US Catalog of Copyright Entries. Earlier years seem to be an artifact of cataloging books from the series with copyright, rather than publication dates. The series contains books by well-known Scribner authors, sometimes as collections or omnibus editions.

This copy of Alan Paton’s Cry, The Beloved Country is a 1950 edition in the series. The book was originally published in 1948. Thus the inclusion of this title in the Modern Standard Authors series was relatively quick and may have been intended to draw attention to the series as it rebuilt after WW2. The jacket design consists of colored blocks and includes a facsimile of the author’s signature on the front of the jacket. The series name is at the bottom of the front cover. The front jacket flap is blank.

The back of the jacket lists 12 titles in the series. “Good Reading for College Classes” suggests that the post-WW2 series was formulated for the booming college market. Prices are included for each title, ranging from $1.75 to $3.50. The pricing probably reflected the literal number of pages in each book – longer reprint books cost more to produce than shorter ones.

The contrasting cloth quarter-bound cover includes the facsimile signature on the front of the book.

The half-title page:

The title page, headed by the series name.

The copyright page includes the original copyright to Patton (1948) and the copyright to Scribner’s (1950).

The title below is a 1953 edition of The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway in a jacket redesign common for series titles in the mid-1950s. Abstract blocks a la Mondrian contain the title, author, series name and publisher. A photo of Hemingway graces the front of the jacket. The front jacket flap contains “A Note About the Author.”

The note continues to the rear jacket flap, where some of the contents are described. The rear jacket flap lists titles in the series, 14 at this time. There were a total of 27 titles published between 1934 and 1967, with reprints as late as 1983.

Modern Standard Authors

It is a bit difficult to determine a comprehensive list of titles with years of original publication in the series given the rather Byzantine dating found in many Modern Standard Authors series books. Scribner’s tends to list all earlier copyright dates, and in omnibus editions, this can mean a dozen or more different years on the copyright page. Some WorldCat entries seem to list the original date of copyright (which is often well before 1934), for example. The list below includes 27 volumes by famous (Faulkner, Hemingway, Wharton) and largely forgotten (James Boyd, Hope Muntz, Stark Young) authors. The last new title in the series is Three Great American Novels: The Great Gatsby; A Farewell to Arms; Ethan Frome (1967). Reprints appear as late as 1983.

J.M. Barrie
*The Admirable Crichton (1934)
*Dear Brutus (1934)
*Quality Street (1934)

James Boyd
*Drums (1935)

Max Eastman
Enjoyment of Poetry and Anthology for Enjoyment of Poetry; with introductions by the author, combined in one volume. (1951)

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Three Novels (The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, The Last Tycoon); in one volume, with introductions by Malcolm Cowley and Edmund Wilson. (1953)

John Galsworthy
The Forsyte Saga (The Man Of Property, In Chancery, To Let); with a preface by Ada Galsworthy and an introduction by Percy Hutchison. (1934)
The Man Of Property, with an Introduction By Lionel Stevenson. (1949)

Kenneth Grahame
*The Wind in the Willows (1935)

Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell To Arms, with an introduction by Robert Penn Warren. (1953)
For Whom The Bell Tolls (1957)
The Hemingway Reader (The Torrents Of Spring complete, The Sun Also Rises complete; selections from five other novels and from Death In The Afternoon and Green Hills Of Africa; eleven short stories): with a foreword and twelve brief prefaces by Charles Poore.
The Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway, The “first forty-nine” stories complete in one volume. (1953)
Three Novels of Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises (introduction by Malcolm Cowley); Farewell to Arms (introduction by Robert Penn Warren) and Old Man and the Sea (introduction by Carlos Baker). (1962) (thanks to Peter Coveney for this information)

Three Great American Novels: The Great Gatsby; A Farewell to Arms; Ethan Frome (1967)

Hope Muntz
The Golden Warrior, with an introduction by G.M. Trevelyan, O.M. (1949)

Alan Paton
Cry, The Beloved Country, with an introduction by Lewis Gannett. (1950)

Michael Pupin
*… From Immigrant to Inventor (1934)

Howard Pyle
*Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1935)

Marjorie Rawlings
The Marjorie Rawlings Reader (1956)

Ernest Thompson Seton
*Johnny Bear, Lobo and Other Stories (1935)

Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome, with an introduction by the author. (1938)
The House Of Mirth, with a foreword by Marcia Davenport. (1951)
The Custom Of The Country, with an introduction By Blake Nevius. (1956)

Thomas Wolfe
Look Homeward, Angel, illustrated by Douglas W. Gorsline, with an introduction by Maxwell E. Perkins. (1952)
*Of Time and the River (1935)

Stark Young
So Red The Rose, with an introduction by Donald Davidson. (1953)

*Titles I believe were issued prior to WW2 only (no post-war printings in the series)

Quarter bound in black cloth and coarse tan cloth, the cover includes a printed author autograph.

The half-title page:

A list of Hemingway titles faces the title page. The series name is included at the top of the title page.

An overwhelming number of copyrights reflect the varied content of this collection of short stories, dated between 1925 and 1953.