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Antique Everyman's Library Books, Set of 8

$ 180.00

Everyman's Library was conceived in 1905 by London publisher Joseph Malaby Dent, whose goal was to create a 1,000-volume library of world literature that was affordable for, and that appealed to, every kind of person, from students to the working classes to the cultural elite. Dent followed the design principles and to a certain extent the style established by William Morris in his Kelmscott Press. Everyman's Library books were pocket-sized hardcovers that sold initially for what was then the remarkably low price of a shilling apiece.

The name of the publication series was suggested by poet and editor Ernest Rhys, who was named head editor of the series initially, and asked to find a suitable name to encompass Dent's goal. Rhys tried and discarded many ideas before recalling a quotation from the medieval play "Everyman" in which the character of Knowledge says to Everyman:

Everyman,

I will go with thee,

and be thy guide,

In thy most need

to go by thy side.

This quotation appears on the title page of all volumes of Everyman's Library and Everyman Paperbacks. 

This particular group of books are all reprints from the early 1900's and once belonged to F.H. and H.K. Martin of Nazareth, Pennsylvania and Princeton, with several of the volumes featuring various inscriptions to them.  One wonders if these Martins might very well be related to Christian F Martin who started the famous CF Martin & Co. guitar manufacturing business located in Nazareth. Research shows CF Martin had grandsons named Frank Henry (F.H.) & Herbert Keller (H.K.) Martin who would have been alive during this time. A number of the books are inscribed to F.H. Martin from a Herbert. So it seems very probable.

Titles include "Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scott (1913), "The Heart of Midlothian" by Sir Walter Scott (1911), "Rob Roy" by Sir Walter Scott (1914), "Guy Mannering or The Astrologer" by Sir Walter Scott (1912), "Leaves of Grass & Democratic Vistas" by Walt Whitman (1916), "The Old Curiosity Shop" by Charles Dickens (1916), "The Social Contract & Discourses" by Jean Jacques Rousseau (not dated by publisher, but inscribed 1917), and "The Last of the Mohicans" by J Fenimore Cooper (1916). 

  • Everyman's Library Books - Set of 8
  • Authors: Various
  • Editor: Ernest Rhys
  • Date: 1911-1916
  • Condition: This item is in vintage condition and is being sold as as-is. Due to age, please expect imperfections. Please review photos for specifics. Additional photos are available upon request.

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