Publishing History > The Carisbrooke Library (George Routledge & Sons) - Book Series List

The Carisbrooke Library
Publisher: George Routledge and Sons. Country: United Kingdom. Date: 1889-91.

Memoirs of Edward Gibbon (Carisbrooke Library/Routledge) (image)

Memoirs of Edward Gibbon written by himself and a selection from his letters with occasional notes and narrative by John Lord Sheffield
by Edward Gibbon (Edited by Henry Morley.)
London, Glasgow, Manchester and New York: George Routledge, 1891
(The Carisbrooke Library. XII)

Hardback bound in olive green textured cloth. The front board features, near the upper edge, the words "Carisbrook Library" in gilt; then (further down) is a thick ruled glit line running horizontally; and then (on the lower part of the front board) is a small illustration in gilt of Carisbrook Castle. The spine features the short title (Memoirs of Edward Gibbon written by Himself) in gilt lettering; and then below that is a thick ruled gilt line; and then (further down again) are the words "Edited by Henry Morley"; and then (near the bottom edge of the spine) the word "Routledge". The publisher's logo is blind stamped of the back board. c. 446 pages, as follows: 6 pages of annotated list of books in The Carisbrooke Library, then 20 page introduction by Henry Morley, then letters to and from Gibbon, and finally 2 pages with a partial listing of Morley's Universal Library. Size: Octavo (20 x 13.5 cm).

Series Note: A description of this series as presented by its editor, Henry Morley:


The Universal Library, now completed in sixty-three cheap shilling volumes, has included English versions of the " Iliad," of all extant plays of the Greek tragedians, and of some plays of Aristophanes, of Sanskrit fables, and of Virgil's ' Aeneid." It has followed the course of time with English versions of the most famous works of Dante, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Rabelais, Cervantes, Moliere, as recast by English dramatists, of Goethe's " Faust " and of Schiller's Poems. It has given currency also to a series of the works of English writers, representative, as far as limits would allow, of our own literature, from Richard of Bury's " Philobiblon " to Sheridan's Plays and Emerson's Essays. In the sequence of publication variety was aimed at, but in the choice of books to be republished there was always the unity of purpose that now allows the volumes to be arranged in historical order, illustrating some of the chief epochs of European literature, and especially of English literature, in the long course of time.

The Carisbrooke Library, now begun, will continue the work of its predecessor, with some changes of form and method. It will include books for which the volumes of the former series did not allow sufficient room. Some- times in the " Universal Library " a large book — Hobbes's " Leviathan," for example — was packed into small type. In the "Carisbrooke Library" there will be no small type. The volumes will be larger; each of about four hundred and fifty pages. They will be handsome library volumes, printed with clear type upon good paper, at the price of half-a-crown, and they will be published in alternate months. In the " Universal Library " the editor's introduction to each volume was restricted to four pages, and
there was no annotation. In the " Carisbrooke Library,"- with larger leisure and a two months' interval between the volumes, it will be possible for the editor to give more help towards the enjoyment of each book. There will be fuller introductions, and there will be notes.

Since changes of method and form in the old Library mean the beginning of a new Library with change of name, a simple change is made from the universal to the particular ; from the purpose to the one who purposes ; from the wide world that yields fruitage for the mind, to the small spot of earth where, if God please, in shades of evening one fruit-gatherer will find new leisure to unburthen himself of his little store.

In the " Carisbrooke Library," as in the predecessor of which it is an extension, there will be order in disorder. Variety will still be aimed at in sequence of the volumes while the choice of books to be issued will be still guided by the desire to bring home to Englishmen, without unfair exclusion of any form of earnest thought, as far as may be, some living knowledge of their literature along its whole extent, and of its relations with the wisdom and the wit of
the surrounding world.

-- Source: First pages of The Earlier Life and the Chief Earlier Works of Daniel Defoe by Defoe, Daniel, London and New York, G. Routledge, 1889 (Carisbrooke Library, IV).

A short description of the life and literary work of the series editior, Henry Morley:

Morley's later years were largely spent in preparing editions at a low price of 'English Classics,' and of translations from foreign classics. These he induced two publishing houses to bring out in two series, respectively entitled 'Morley's Universal Library' (63 vols. at 1s. each), 1883-8, and 'Cassell's National Library' (214 vols. at 3d. each), 1886-90. Each of the volumes had an introduction from his own pen. He also published a 'Library of English Literature,' 5 vols. (1875-81), with much original comment, and the 'Carisbrooke Library' (1889-91), 14 vols. reprints of less familiar English classics. Morley's 'Companion Poets' (1891–2) numbered nine volumes. Although much of his work as the historian of literature has lasting value, his critical insight was less marked than his faculty for collecting information; and it is as a populariser of literature that he did his countrymen the highest service.

-- Source: Entry "Henry Morley" by James Gairdner, in: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 39.

Volume / Title / Author / Year of Publication

I. The Tale of a Tub and Other Works by Jonathan Swift. 1889.

II. Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins Being the Confessio Amantis of John Gower. 1889.

III. The Earlier Life and the Chief Earlier Works of Daniel Defoe. 1889.

IV. Early Prose Romances - Henry Morley, ed. 1889. Contains Reynard The Fox, Friar Bacon, Robert The Devil, Guy of Warwick, Virilius, History Of Hamlet, Friar Rush.

V. English Prose Writings of John Milton. 1889.

VI. Parodies and Other Burlesque Pieces: With the Whole Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin - Canning, George; Ellis, George & Frere, John Hookham. 1890.

VII. Jerusalem Delivered: A Poem - Torquato Tasso. 1890.

VIII. A Survay of London Contayning the Originall, Antiquity, Increase, Moderne Estate, and Description of That Citie, Written in the Year 1598 - John Stowe. 1893.

IX. Masques and Entertainments - Ben Jonson. 1890.

X. Ireland under Elizabeth and James the First described by Edmund Spenser, Sir John Davies and by Fynes Moryson. 1890.

XI. Gulliver's Travels, Exactly Reprinted from the First Edition, and Other Works by Jonathan Swift, with Some Account of Cyrano de Bergerac and of his Travels to the Son and Moon. 1890; 1906.

XII. Memoirs of Edward Gibbon Written By Himself and a Selection from His Letters with Occasional Notes and Narrative by John Lord Sheffield. 1891.

XIII. The History of Florence - Niccolò Machiavelli. 1891.

XIV. Character Writings of the Seventeenth Century - Henry Morley, ed. 1891.

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