PUBLISHER : John Wurtele Lovell Company, New York, 1878-1881; John W. Lovell Company, New York, 1882-1891
24 Bond Street in 1878, later 16 Astor Street; 14 Vesey Street 1882; acquired plates and stock of Munro Library in 1888; 142-150 Worth Street by 1891; absorbed by United States Book Company 1891 (DLB 49). Born in Montreal... In 1876 Lovell established the firm of Lovell, Adam & Company in New York City for the purpose of reprinting cheap editions of British books. His partner was G. Mercer Adam, a fellow Canadian.... In 1887 the partnership was dissolved and Lovell began to publish on his own.... Lovell started as a pirate with the intention of breaking the courtesy of the trade principle of the literary establishment.... In 1881 he reorganized his business, calling it John W. Lovell Company, and the following year he introduced the Lovell's Library, a series of paperbacks priced at ten, twenty, or thirty cents. Beginning as a weekly, the series grew until, by 1890, it had become a triweekly. Lovell issued his books either in cloth or in paper. Publishing seven million cheap books a year, he became known as Book-A-Day Lovell.... In 1890 Lovell's publishing activities culminated in the formation of the United States Book Company. Within three years, however, this firm went into bankruptcy and by 1900 Lovell had completely disappeared from the annals of publishing. He died in 1932. (Kurian). There is some further information in Schurman (see research tools tab);. an 1879 letter from Lovell to The Publisher's Weekly, "The Royalty vs. the Monopoly Scheme of Copyright"; Raymond Howard Shove's summary of the "Combination"; Lovell's 1890 announcement to the trade about his plan to create a monopoly for reprint publications, and the decision in the 1896 suit brought by a successor firm, American Publishers Corporation, to recover rights to Munro's Seaside Library.
For a sympathetic view of Lovell, see “The Advancement of Labor & Woman’s Rights. John W. Lovell: His Social Conscience,” Madeleine B. Stern, Imprints on History: Book Publishers and American Frontiers (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1956), p259-289.
LUCILE’s ISSUED BY John Wurtele Lovell Company:
1880 PTLA: Arundel Edition of the Poets. These are very handsome editions, small 4to size, beautifully printed on fine paper, large type, bound in very handsome style. ... The "Arundel Editions " are recommended as superior to any editions heretofore published in completeness of text, containing all of the writings of the various authors. The beauty of the printing and binding will commend them to all lovers of good books, and it is confidently expected that they will attain a very large sale. ... small 4to size, cloth, gilt, $1.50; full gilt, back and side, gilt edges, $2.00; full Morocco, gilt, in box, $4.00. [Both Lucile and Works are offered].
1881 PTLA "Revised Catalogue - August, 1881:" The Arundel Poets. The editions of the poets used as presentation volumes in this country are made in England, where the copyright law prevents the republication of the editions giving the text as ascertained by the researches of scholars during the last fifty years. As a natural consequence, the text of these cheap editions differs widely from the text of any of the (hitherto) high priced editions current among scholars. / The publishers of the Arundel Poets feel confidence in claiming superiority for their editions over all others, for the following considerations: they are, in every case, complete, and are reprints from the best editions, accepted and used by the first scholars of to-day; they are printed from entirely new plates, upon which much additional expense has been incurred in special proof-reading, in order to secure a perfectly accurate text. Each volume is illustrated with numerous full-page engravings: the type is twice the usual size found in cheap editions; the paper is of excellent quality, and the binding is handsome and warranted to be of the very best manufacture. / The Poetical Works of Owen Meredith... 1 vol., 450 pages, square 8vo, cloth, $1.25. Ditto, cloth extra, gilt edges, $1.50. / Lucile. Beautifully illustrated. 1 vol, 400 pages, square 8vo, cloth, $1.25. Ditto, extra cloth, gilt edges, $1.50.
PW 1881, 18 June: Lovell's Caxton Classics. A series of the best books in Poetry, History, Biography, Fiction, etc., designed to meet the wants of those who desire the works of the best authors in an inexpensive, but at the same time neat and durable, form. The following are all printed from clear type, on good paper, and handsomely bound. Price in cloth, black and gold, per volume, 75 cents. [Both Lucile and Works are offered].
1884-1885, 1887 PTLA: Catalogue of Lovell's Library. Classified for more convenient reference as follows... by numbers... by authors... by titles and subjects.... / All the numbers of Lovell's Library are always in print. Dealers can be promptly supplied by the American News Company, New York, or any of its Branches. / [Lucile is #331, priced at $.20; numbers 320 to 329 are reported published in the March 1, 1884 issue of The Publishers Weekly].
1886 PTLA: Lucile is also listed in the Catalogue of Cloth Bound Edition [which is headed by a note: "For the future we will bind all new issues of "Lovell's Library " in cloth, charging 15 cents additional to retail price; 10 cent numbers will be bound two volumes in one. "] [1876-84 American Catalog: Lovell's lib. 12o. '84. pap. 20c.]
1886 PTLA: The above Library is now published by the Proprietors of Lovell's Library. Each number issued in neat 12mo form, printed from large type, attractively bound. John W. Lovell Company, 14 and 16 Vesey Street, New York. [Lucile is listed as number 63 in the series.]
1881 PTLA "Revised Catalogue - August, 1881:" Plain Editions. [Cut]. Lovell's Editions of the Poets. 12mo size, full gilt side and back, gilt edges. Price per volume $1.00. These are, without doubt, the finest editions of the Poets ever issued in this country at a low price. The plastes are all new beautiful clear type, the paper very good, and the binding the best and handsomest that could be designed.The list is already a large one, affording a wide assortment. In most cases, the works will be found more complete than the foreign edition, as, on account of the copyright on many of the poems not having yet expired, the English publishers are prevented from printing all the poems of many of the best authors. In the case of still living authors, care will be taken to add any new poems that they may publish to each new edition issued. [Both Lucile and Works are offered].
RED LINE EDITIONS
1879 PTLA (Supplement): John W. Lovell, 24 Bond St. [Neither Lucile or Works appears in a list of about 25 titles.]
1880 PTLA: John Wurtele Lovell, 14 & 16 Astor Place. Lovell's Editions of the Poets. Red Line Editions. 12mo. size, full gilt side and back, gilt edges. Price, per volume... $1.25. These are. Without doubt, the finest editions of the Poets ever issued in this country at a low price. The plates are all new, beautiful clear type, the paper very good, and the binding the best and handsomest that could be designed. The list is already a large one, affording a wide assortment. In most cases the works will be found more complete than the Foreign edition, as, on account of the copyright on many of the Poems not having yet expired, the English publishers are prevented from printing all the poems of many of the best authors. In the case of still living authors, care will be taken to add any new poems that they may publish to each new edition issued. [Both Lucile and Works are offered]. The above are also issued with plain edges, bound in cloth, price per volume, $1.00. [Both Lucile and Works are offered].
"Poetry is something to make us wiser and better, by continually revealing those types of beauty and truth which God has set in all men's souls."-Lowell. "Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds."-Shelley.
1881 PTLA "Revised Catalogue - August, 1881 ": Red Line Editions as 1880. [New cut]. Lovell's Editions of the Poets.
1883 PTLA, July: Lovell's Red Line Edition of the Poets. Without doubt the finest and most complete edition of the poets ever issued in this country at a low price. In 12mo volumes, illustrated, handsomely bound in cloth, black and gold, gilt edges... $1.25. The above are also issued, bound in elaborately printed cloth, with red edges, price per volume, $1.00. The following are issued in tree calf or full morocco antique. Price, $5.00 per volume. [Both Lucile and Works are offered in each of these formats]. [A note is added to a second, abbreviated description p31: "Since the publication of his first work, Clytemnestry [sic] Meredith has steadily ascended in the scale of poetic rank. He has the spirit and feeling of the genuine poet improved by the judgement of the man of the world, and the condition of the scholar. No brighter or more charming verses have ever been written than some of those which make up Owen Meredith's volume."]
1880 PTLA: Lovell's Standard Library. Under this heading Mr. Lovell proposes to publish from time to time the best Standard Works in Biography, Fiction, etc. The books will all be printed from new plates, large, clear type, on good paper, very handsomely bound, black and gold, the publisher's aim being to make them the best and cheapest in the market. They will be sold at the uniform price of $1.00 a volume. [Both Lucile and Works are offered].
See also H. Parmalee Library.
Last revised: 29 October 2013