Novels Beautiful

George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1921-1935
Size: 6″ x 8.75″

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Harrap & Co. was a UK publisher of juvenile, educational and illustrated books from about 1900-1986. The Novels Beautiful series consisted of large (8vo) classics with color illustrations. The series was introduced in 1921 as “A new Series which is to present a choice selection of standard works of fiction In a format which is worthy of their place in literature.”

The Replacement List of Fiction (1933) claims this series is the same as Dodd’s International Classics series (which sold for $2), but with a different binding (and sold in the UK). The UK price in 1933 was 7/6.

Fifteen titles are listed in this 1930 2nd printing of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. The initial printing in the series was 1924. At least one more title shows up in WorldCat (Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge) but the lack of any indication of the series name in the book itself means this series can’t easily be found in WorldCat.

Jackets are common to the series have a repeating abstract pattern printed in a reddish-orange. The few other jackets I have seen are in the same color. Information on the jacket is minimal, but the illustrations are noted on the spine and the series name on the bottom of the front of the jacket. The geometric design extends to the jacket flaps.

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The rear of the jacket and rear flap contain no text.

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The book covers have a printed design, probably common to each book in the series.

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The half title page:

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Between the half-title page and title page is a list of 15 titles uniform with this series. The series name is not indicated anywhere in the book itself. At least one more title was added to the series after this list (Barnaby Rudge). The name of the illustrator and number of pages is indicated for each title.

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A color illustration faces the title page.

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Copyright page includes the initial date of printing and subsequent printings.

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