Houghton Mifflin Co. (Boston, US)
Series dates: 1929
Size: 6″ x 9″
Houghton Mifflin’s Park Street Library actually refers to two series published from about 1920 through 1931. The first was the Park Street Library of Travel. The second was the ponderously named Park Street Library of Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters. Both were named after the street in Boston where Houghton Mifflin’s offices were long located.
The Park Street Library of Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters was the U.S. version of Routledge’s Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series, at least through the first three volumes (all published in 1929). Then the U.S. and British Editions were issued under the UK series name, as the Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters – but only for two more volumes. Six more announced titles were not published (ghost titles) in any form by Routledge or Houghton Mifflin.
The Park Street Library of Travel (1920-1931)
The initial Park Street Library (of Travel) is comprised of seven titles with various and confusing dates retained from earlier (non-series) publication. Series reprints of the first seven titles were most likely published in 1920 or 1921 given advertisements in a Houghton Mifflin publication, The Piper: A Periodical Devoted to Books and Their Authors (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1921). Two additional titles were added to the series in 1927 and 1931. The last title, Greek Lands and Letters, only appeared in the series in its 3rd edition.
English Hours, Henry James (1920)
*A Little Tour in France, by Henry James (1920)
Italian Journeys, by William Dean Howells (1920)
Greece and the Aegean Islands, by Philip Sanford Marden (1920)
Travels in Spain, by Philip Sanford Marden (1920)
The Ideal Italian Tour, by Henry James Forman (1920)
**Around the World, by Robert Frothingham (1920)
***Tawny Spain, by H.C. Chatfield-Taylor (1927)
***Greek Lands and Letters, by Francis Greenleaf Allinson (3rd ed., 1931)
*Published as part of the 6 volume Atlantic Library of Travel. Offered as part of a subscription to the Atlantic Monthly in 1907-1908 (and as a stand-alone set for $16.50).
**Title listed in The Piper but not listed in the 1925 advertisement (below, left). The title may have been out of the series in 1925 and re-added later in a revised form (see advertisement below right).
***A few copies in WorldCat indicate these titles are part of the Park Street Library of Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters. It is possible that the two Park Library series were combined in some way in the late 1920s, but the titles are not consistent with the content of the series (published or unpublished titles).
Two advertisements for the Park Street Library of Travel: Left: The Saturday Review of Literature, April 11, 1925. Right: When You Go to Hawaii You Will Need this Guide to the Islands, by Townsend Griffiss, Houghton Mifflin, 1930.
The source of the Park Street Library of Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters is the similarly named Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series which was developed by Routledge in the UK. Broadway refers to Broadway House, the long-time headquarters of Routledge in London. Several other series share the Broadway moniker:
- Broadway Library of Eighteenth-Century French Literature (1927-1930; Routledge in the UK, and Brentano’s in the US)
- Broadway Medieval Library (1928-1931; Routledge in the UK, Harcourt Brace in the US)
- Broadway Oriental Library (1930-1932; Routledge in the UK, Dutton in the US)
- Broadway Translations (1923-1936; Routledge in the UK, Dutton in the US)
- Broadway Travellers (1926-1946; Routledge in the UK, Harper in the US)
It is not unusual for a series to be issued in two or more countries, sometimes with different names, sometimes with the same name, in the 20th century (before publishers had a global reach).
The first three titles in the Park Street Library of Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters appear in 1929, as advertised in the Saturday Review of Literature (September 7 and October 12, 1929). These three titles were also issued in the UK under the Broadway series name the same year.
Memoirs of Lorenzo Da Ponte: Mozart’s Librettist, by Lorenzo Da Ponte, edited by L.A. Sheppard (1929)
Recollections of My Youth, by Ernest Renan, edited by C.B. Pitman (1929)
Journal of a West Indian Proprietor, M.G. (Monk) Lewis, edited by Mona Wilson. (1929)
These are the only titles in the U.S. series using the Park Street Library name. Two more titles would be issued, but they used Routledge’s Broadway Series name. An additional six titles were announced but not issued.
The copy of M.G. (“Monk”) Lewis’s Journal of a West India Proprietor (shown below) includes a list of titles in the series, title editors, as well as the series editors:
The Park Street Library of Letters, Diaries and Memoirs
Edited by Eileen Power (here?) and Elizabeth Drew
Renan’s Recollections of My Youth, G.G. Coulton (published in The Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series, Routledge, UK, 1929)
Memoirs of Lorenzo Da Ponte, L.A. Sheppard (published in The Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series, Routledge, UK, 1929)
Lewis’s Journal of a West India Proprietor, Mona Wilson (published in The Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series, Routledge, UK, 1929)
Letters of George Sand, V. Lucas and E. Drew (published in The Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series, Houghton Mifflin & Routledge, 1930)
Journal of a Slave-Dealer, Eveline Martin (published in The Broadway Diaries, Memoirs & Letters series, Houghton Mifflin & Routledge, 1930)
**Letters of Fanny Burney, Dorothy Meads
*Diary of a French Gardener, Francis Birrell
*Letters of Sydney Smith, Nowell Smith
*Essays And Letters of St. Evremond I, John Hayward
**Journal of Gilbert White, Walter Johnson
*Letters of David Hume, J.Y.T. Greig
**Not included in the UK list of proposed titles, but in the US list of titles. Not published.
Jackets for the U.S. series were common to the series (as were the UK editions). The series name was included on the jacket spine, and prominently on the front of the jacket. A blurb about the book is included on the jacket front. An additional Houghton Mifflin title is advertised on the front jacket flap. As is the price of the book, at $4.00. $4.00 in 1929 equivalent to about $60 in 2020 dollars. (source) These were not inexpensive titles.
The back of the jacket features new biography titles from Houghton Mifflin, which includes the three titles in the Park Street Library series.
The books are nicely bound in cloth with quarter binding in black and magenta. Gold typography and decorations appear on the spine and a debossed ship illustration on the front of the book.
The half-title page:
The full list of titles in the series is listed under the name “Park Street Library of Letters, Diaries and Memoirs” – but the series name is Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters. This is a peculiar typo. The series editors appear with the list of titles in the series, not all of which would be published.
An illustration, plate 1, faces the title page. The title page includes the date of publication, 1929.
“Printed in Great Britain by Billing and Sons Ltd., Guidford and Esher.” The books were probably printed by Routledge in the UK, then imported and bound and jacketed by Houghton Mifflin in the US.