Rich & Cowan Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1935-1937
Size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
Rich and Cowan’s Neptune Library was announced in an advertisement in The Publisher, Volume 142, 1935. Another advertisement, in the back of a 1935 copy of Marriage in My Time (another Rich and Cowan series) by Marie Carmichael Stopes describes the Neptune Library as “a new series of reprints of great stories of the sea, by well-known authors, never before published in cheap editions.”
Six books were reprinted in the series, all issued in 1935. No advertisements appear after 1935, suggesting the series was not very successful. A copy of Ventures and Voyages by E. Keble Chatterton is dated 1935, originally issued in 1928. The book has an owner’s signature with a 1937 date, suggesting the series was still being sold as late as that year.
Dust jackets are unique to each title. The jacket spine has the title, author, “illustrated,” a series colophon and publisher. The front of the jacket imposes a yellow band (a printed version of actual bands used on reprint series and other books in the late 1920s and 1930s) with the series name and a quote from a review of Ventures and Voyages. The front jacket flap blurbs the title and includes the price of 5/-.
The back of the jacket lists four titles in the series, not including this Chatterton title. The books are “Demy 8vo., Illustrated, 5/- net each.” The rear jacket flap advertises Chatterton’s Danger Zone with a slew of quotes from reviews.
The six titles in the series are below. All were published in the series in 1935. Some appear with earlier dates but advertisements of the “new series” appear in 1935. Two titles have serial numbers in some WorldCat entries (#1 and #2) but I can’t find any other evidence that the titles were numbered.
#1: Buccaneers of the Pacific, by George Wycherley (1935)
#2: Flotillas, by Captian Lionel Dawson (1935)
Rolling Round the Horn, by Claude Muncaster (1935)
Windjammers and Shellbacks, by E. Keble Chatterton (1935)
Mediterranean Medley, by Lionel Dawson (1935)
Ventures & Voyages, E. Keble Chatterton (1935)
Heavy tan cloth bindings have typography and decorations in blue ink. The series colophon is included on the spine, and the Neptune Library name is on the front of the book.
The half-title page:
Additional books by E. Keble Chatterton are listed on the reverse of the half-title page.
An illustration faces the title page.
“First published April 1928. Neptune Library edition 1935”
“Made and printed in Great Britain at the Mayflower Press, Plymouth. William Brendon & Son, Ltd. for Messrs. Rich & Cowan. Ltd., 25 Soho Square, London, W.1”