[ModLib] New Chart: Titles That Changed Numbers

Bill Hornick willthemad at aol.com
Fri Apr 25 06:51:15 EDT 2014

Thank you for the useful information on the number changes.  I had suspected many of the reasons for the changes but it is better to have the definitive answers.
-----Original Message-----
From: Gordon Barrick Neavill <neavill at wayne.edu>
To: For collectors of Modern Library books <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
Sent: Thu, Apr 24, 2014 10:36 pm
Subject: Re: [ModLib] New Chart: Titles That Changed Numbers

This is a handy chart -- Thanks, Scot!

Why did the ML change the numbers?  Here are the reasons: 

Austen's Complete Novels, formerly G8, changed to G58 when the Gibbon Giant was repackaged from 2 to 3 vols numbered G6-8
Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson (50) was dropped from the series in 1922 and restored to the ML in 1926 as 116 since 50 had been reassigned
Cellini was shifted from 3 to 150 when the 3-vol Shakespeare was published as ML 1-3
Wisdom of Confucius was shifted from 7 to 306 when the 6 vol. Shakespeare was renumbered 2-7 after the ML dictionary became ML 1
Douglas, South Wind was renumbered from 5 to 304 when the 6-volumeShakespeare was renumbered from 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B to ML 2–7
Ibsen, Six Plays was renumbered from 6 to 305 for the same reason South Wind was renumbered
Kipling's Soldiers Three was renumbered in spring 1927 when Cellini's Autobiography was published as ML 3
Lawrence's Sons and Lovers (109) was probably withdrawn from the ML by Viking Press when it published it in their quality paperback series Compass Books; it was restored to the ML as 333 after the ML negotiated a new reprint contact that paid significantly higher royalties
ML Dictionary was renumbered from 4 to 1 when the ML Shakespeare was split into 6 volumes numbered 2-7
Porter, Flowering Judas was withdrawn from the ML by Harcourt, Brace when they were considering adding it to their new hardbound reprint series Harbrace Modern Classics; after they decided not to publish it in the new series they allowed in back into the ML
The Shakespeare volumes were renumbered 1 and 1a, 2 and 2a, and 3 and 3a when the ML split the original 3 volumes into 6; they were renumbered 2-7 when RH acquired new business machines that couldn't cope with number-letter combinations
Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray; De Profundis was shifted from ML 1 to ML 125 in fall 1943 when theML published its 3-volume Shakespeare as ML 1-3


From: "Scot Kamins" <kamins at modernlib.com>
To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:51:49 PM
Subject: [ModLib] New Chart: Titles That Changed Numbers


As many of you already know, the Modern Library on rare occasion changed the series number of a title, assigning that number to some other title. This was likely done for some marketing reason, although no one has come forward with a verifiable reason.
The following chart, based on data submitted by  Modern Library stalwart Bill Hornick, shows the original and revised series numbers for the 17 titles affected.

Thanks to Bill for doing the look-up work and suggesting the chart.


Scot Kamins
"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." -- Peter Steiner

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