Dracula in the Modern Library

GORDON NEAVILL aa3401 at wayne.edu
Mon May 17 16:19:50 EDT 2004

The Modern Library bought the Sun Dial Library from 
Doubleday in 1930.  Along with titles in the Sun Dial 
Library the ML got reprint rights to four major Doubleday 
titles that weren't in the Sun Dial Library: Maugham's Of 
Human Bonadage, Bennett's Old Wives' Tale, Huxley's Point 
Counter Point, and Walpole's Fortitude. 

Dracula--the best selling title in the Sun Dial Library--was 
added to the ML in March 1932.  The first printing has the 
statement, "First Modern Library Edition [in italics] | 
1932" on the verso of the title page.  The Modern Library 
edition was printed from new plates made by Doubleday for 
the ML's exclusive use.  The ML edition had 418 pages, the 
Sun Dial Library edition had 354 pages.

The dates of the jackets reproduced in Dogeared are, to the 
best of my knowledge, 1932, 1941, and 1967.

The 1932 jacket is one of my favorites from the ML's balloon 
cloth period.  I didn't realize it was adapted from the Sun 
Dial Library jacket (thanks, John!)

The second jacket was designed in 1940 by E. McKnight 
Kauffer and is also a classic example of ML jacket design.  
It was used with the larger Modern Library format, with 
bindings designed by Joseph Blumenthal, that was introduced 
in 1940.  The earliest Kauffer jacket I've seen dates from 
spring 1941, based on the list of titles printed inside the 
jacket.  If anyone has a 1940 jacket please let me know!

The third jacket, probably designed by S. Neil Fujita, 
features the title in vivid red ornamented letters against a 
solid black background.  The book is printed from offset 
plates, photographed from an earlier (letterpress) printing 
with the page numeral 418 omitted and the table of contents 
repaginated; it also has a redesigned title page.  The list 
at the end of the volume dates from fall 1966.  Copies of 
the jacket I've seen have the back panel stating FOR THE 
MODERN READER ... | The Best of the World's Best Books in:  
This, together with the tan Kent endpapers, dates the volume 
to spring 1967.

There are two other jackets not reproduced in Dogeared.  

In spring 1978 Dracula appeared in the ML's reissue format 
in a nonpictorial jacket with lettering in dark grayish red 
on tan paper.  The initial retail price was $5.95.  I wish 
the ML had waited a few years and put it out in a pictorial 
jacket with a woodcut illustation by Stephen Alcorn.

The next ML edition of Dracula came in 1996, after the 1992 
relaunch of the series.  This jacket features a portrait of 
Bram Stoker on the spine and front cover.  Retail price was 
$16.50.  The hardbound edition is now out of print.

However, there are two more ML editions to account for.  

In October 2000 Dracula appeared as a Modern Library e-book, 
using an image of the 1996 jacket.

Finally in March 2001 it appeared as a ML trade paperback 
with an introduction by Peter Straub.  The cover 
illustration features a young woman's neck with a cross tied 
around it, all in bright pink.  

More information about the paperback and e-book are 
available at the Modern Library website, 

ML editions of Dracula have appeared in most or all of the 
successive binding/endpaper/etc. designs used by the ML from 
1932 on.  More information about these can be found in Henry 
Toledano's Modern Library Price Guide, 1917-2000 (1999) and 
in my article, "The Modern Library Series: Format and 
Design," in Printing History, vol. 1, no. 1 (1979), pp. 26-

Barry Neavill

Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
aa3401 at wayne.edu 

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