Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd. (London, UK)
Series dates: 1950-1971
Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, US)
Series dates: 1950-1971
Size: 5.25″ x 8.25″
A series of scholarly compilations of important western authors edited by literary scholars and initiated by the British publisher Rupert Hart-Davis beginning in 1950. Harvard University Press published the series in the U.S. The books are large, heavy and well printed and bound. It seems that there were at least 12 and possibly 13 titles in the series. Harvard University may have published a Blake volume on its own in 1970. Harvard, at least, offered paperbound versions and advertised the series for college course adoption. Titles in the series include:
1950: Browning: Poetry and Prose (Simon Nowell-Smith, ed.)
1950: Goldsmith: Selected Works (Richard Garnett, ed.)
1950: Dr. Johnson: Prose and Poetry (Mona Wilson, ed.)
1950: Sterne: Selected Works (Douglas Grant, ed.)
1952: Dryden: Poetry, Prose and Plays (Douglas Grant, ed.)
1952: Macaulay: Prose and Poetry (G.M. Young, ed.)
1954: Matthew Arnold: Poetry and Prose (John Bryson, ed.)
1955: Carlyle: Selected Works, Reminiscences and Letters (Julian Symons, ed.)
1955: Wordsworth: Poetry and Prose (W. M. Merchant, ed.)
1957: Newman: Prose and Poetry (Geoffrey Tillotson, ed.)
1962: FitzGerald: Selected Works (Joanna Richardson, ed.)
1968: Cowper: Poetry and Prose (Brian Spiller, ed.)
1970: The Letters of William Blake (Geoffrey Keynes, ed.)
The last (1970) title may be in error but is listed several places as a Reynard Library title published by Harvard University Press. An advert from 1971 indicates that Harvard University Press offered the series in both hardcover and paperback:
This copy of Dr. Johnson: Prose and Poetry edited by Mona Wilson was published in 1967. The initial publication of this title was 1950. This is the Harvard University Press version, which may have been printed much later than the British Rupert Hart-Davis copies. Jackets are common to the series, with a fox design used by the British editions. The colors used include red, but also teal and purple. The jacket spines are a bit unusual, containing only the sir name of the author. The series title is on the front of the jacket and front flap. A prospectus for the series is also included on the front jacket flap with a few quotes from reviews.
Additional titles in the series are summarized on the rear flap, and also detailed on the back of the jacket. It does not seem that the Burns title, listed as forthcoming, was ever published.
Bindings are an attractive cloth buckram in dark red and black with a simple spine and cover design in gold. The series name is included on the front of the book.
The half title contains only the sir name of the author.
The title page includes the date of printing:
The copyright page is blank, except for an indication that the book was printed in Great Britain. Rupert Hart-Davis may have been supplying bound or unbound books to Harvard for the U.S. market.