[ModLib] The New Spirit

John Krygier jbkrygier at owu.edu
Wed Nov 6 07:12:41 EST 2013

Hi all,

As a collector of just about every other reprint series, I have the National
Home Library New Spirit edition, along with several others, all printed from
ML plates, and published after the ML editions were discontinued.  The
National Home Library seemed to be a non-profit org promoting literacy - 
cheap books in this series (25 cents for the hardcovers!) suggest that ML 
maybe donated the plates? Recall also that there was an issue with the
National Home Library later with what, the reprint of the Federalist Papers?

Ellis			The New Spirit					  1935		National Home Library #10	ML Plates
Flaubert		Salammbo						  1930s		National Home Library #4		ML Plates
France		The Queen Pedaque				  1935		National Home Library #2		ML Plates
Paine		Selections from the Writings of Paine  1935		National Home Library #11	ML Plates
Tolstoy		Tales						   1935		National Home Library #1		ML Plates?

This is what I posted on the list a decade (!) ago about the ML plates in the 
National Home Library (in reference to a question about The Queen Pedaque in
the series):

From: <jbkrygier at owu.edu>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 10:55:24 EDT 

This reprint uses the Modern Library plates, so the text, at least, is identical to the ML edition. I have a copy of Ellis's "New Spirit" which also uses ML printing plates for the text. The National Home Library Foundation seems to have been a non-profit public literacy foundation. They published a few dozen hardcover classics and new 'progressive' titles during the 1930s for a quarter each. They also had a paper back series (the Jacket Library). I assume that the ML loaned the NHL (!) plates from discontinued ML titles, but I cannot recall when the "Queen Pedaque" and the "New Spirit" were discontinued (I am away from home, in the fine state of Wisconsin, sans Toledano Guide). 

The Foundation still exists, primarily as a source of funds for library literacy projects. Why do I know these things? 

Another example of reused ML plates is the New Classics Series (New Directions) edition of Stein's "Three Lives" with a very cool Lustig DJ (published in the 1950s). 

On Nov 5, 2013, at 4:29 PM, Gordon Barrick Neavill <neavill at wayne.edu> wrote:

> Boni and Liveright published Ellis's The New Spirit in the ML in January 1921, and Cerf and Klopfer discontinued it at the end of 1932.  I was unaware of the National Home Library printing, but it wasn't unusual for Cerf and Klopfer to rent their plates to other publishers. The only tidbit of information I have from the archives is a letter from Cerf to H. L. Mencken in 1926 indicating that sales of The New Spirit, which had been just over 1,500 copies annually during the preceding three years, jumped to 1,334 copies in the first six months of 1926 (Cerf to Mencken, 20 July 1926). The increase was probably the result of a newly published biography by Isaac Goldberg, Havelock Ellis: A Biographical and Critical Survey (Simon and Schuster, 1926).
> Barry
> From: "John Peterson" <jpetersonlhi at frontier.com>
> To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 2:43:28 PM
> Subject: [ModLib] The New Spirit
> Today I picked up a copy of this title by Ellis, published by the National Home Library in 1935.  I got it because it was similar in size to a ML flexie, and wanted to see if it used the same plates as the ML version of the same title.  It turns out that each page, including the one page forward and two page preface by Ellis are identical to those of the ML Version of New Spirit(binding 4).  Since ML stopped publication of this title in 1932, does anyone know if Bennett Cerf sold or rented the plates to The National Home Library?
> John Peterson
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j   b   k r y g i e r

jbkrygier at owu.edu

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