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The Hutchinson ‘Century’ Books

Posted by demonik on October 20, 2009

Hutchinson ‘Century of’ Omnibuses: 26 volumes, 1934-1938

Grateful thanks to Richard Humphreys who provided us with beautiful dust-jacket scans of the relevant entries. Mr. Humphreys’ Dennis Wheatley site was a forerunner to Bob Rothwell’s, and both can be found at Dennis Wheatley Info. It’s Richard’s listing i’ve referred to for dates and various snippets of information.

1934

  • Creepy Stories
  • Humour (ed. P. G. Wodehouse)
  • Evening Standard Book Of Strange Stories
  • Sea Stories (ed. Rafael Sabatini)

1935

  • Love Stories (ed. Gilbert Frankau)
  • Detective Stories (introduced by G. K. Chesterton)
  • Famous Trials (ed. 1st Earl Of Birkenhead)
  • 1001 Wonderful Things (ed. Walter Hutchinson)
  • Book Of The King’s Jubilee (ed. Sir Philip Gibbs)
  • Horror (ed. Dennis Wheatley)
  • Boys Stories (ed. Francis Brett Young)
  • 50 Years of Ghost Stories
  • Girls Stories (ed. Ethel Boileau)
  • Historical Stories (ed. Rafael Sabatini)

1936

  • Western Stories (ed. George Goodchild)
  • Ghost Stories [ed. Dorothy M. Thomlinson ?]
  • Holiday Omnibus For All Seasons
  • Holiday Omnibus For Christmas
  • 2nd Century Of Humour (ed. ‘Fougasse’)
  • Cavalcade Of History (ed. Claud Golding)

1937

  • Evening Standard 2nd Book Of Strange Stories
  • Nature Stories (ed. J. W. Robertson Scott)
  • 2nd Century Of Creepy Stories (ed. Hugh Walpole)

1938

  • The Fireside Omnibus
  • 2nd Cavalcade Of History (ed. Claud Golding)
  • More Famous Trials (ed. 1st Earl Of Birkenhead)

Even in those instances where an editor is credited, E. F. Bleiler warns against taking the attribution too seriously, so although Dennis Wheatley’s name found it’s way onto the cover of A Century Of Horror he may have had little to do with it beyond providing an introduction. From what we know of his “involvement” in the Dennis Wheatley Library Of The Occult series for Sphere forty years later, this doesn’t sound altogether unlikely. Intriguingly, Bleiler also wonders if Cynthia Asquith had some hand in compiling a few of them, in which case the prime suspect would be A Century Of Creepy Stories. Essentially, …. Creepy compiles the contents of Asquith’s The Ghost Book, When Churchyards Yawn and The Black Cap, loans Oscar Cook and ‘Flavia Richardson’ from the Not At Night series, and throws in a number of genre classics to keep everybody happy.

A Century Of Ghost Stories (1936) is a much extended edition of the previous year’s Fifty Years Of Ghost Stories. The more generous of the uncredited editors is often cited as Dorothy M. Thomlinson.

The Daily Express tried to muscle in on the Century action with two clones A Century Of Thrillers From Poe to Arlen and A Century Of Thrillers – Second Series (Odhams, 1934, 1935)

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