PUBLISHER : R. Worthington & Co., New York, 1867-1885; Worthington Company, New York, 1885-1893

ABOUT :
Started in Montreal and Boston, moved to 750 Broadway in 1874; 28 Lafayette Place 1876, then to 770 Broadway (DLB 49). ... The Worthington publications were mainly sets of standard writers, twelvemos of popular and standard works, and juveniles. The catalog prices placed on these books were not particularly low, but as was so often the case with this type of publication, especially during the 1880s, the actual selling price was much less than the advertised price. Standard twelvemos listed at one dollar, and complete sets listed at somewhat over a dollar a volume sold for much less.... In 1882 Worthington purchased more than a hundred and fifteen thousand cloth-bound "standards" from John W. Lovell, who had decided to give up this type of publishing. It was reported that "This purchase, aggregating in retail prices about $150,000, is a most extraordinary event in the history of the New York booktrade" [Publishers' Weekly 21:195 (1882)]. In 1884 Worthington bought the remainder of the Lovell company's books, "all their standard sets of books, red-line poets--etc., except the Lovell Library" [Publishers' Weekly 25:191 (1884)]. These sets of George Eliot, Thackery, Dickens, Scott, and othrs, purchased at a low price, furnished good material for price cutting. / In 1889 when a proposed "combination" of cheap book publishers was being discussed, Mr. Worthington was in favor of it. Said he, "You see we've all got a lot of dead property on our hands in these plates. This concern alone has $300,000 worth. As long as the present demoralized condition of things exist growing out of reckless competition this property is valueless. [New York Herald July 7, 1889, p21]. / When the United States Book Company was formed in 1890 it took over a considerable part of the Worthington stock, including the Franklin Edition of popular twelvemos, and the cloth-bound World Library. When the United States Book Company failed, much of the stock came back again into the hand of Worthington. / In January 1885, the Publishers' Weekly reported that one of the chief failures of the previous year was "that of the Worthington Company, which put to an end a business that had long been a source of demoralization in the trade" [Publishers' Weekly 47:7 (1895)]. (Shove). See Research Tools for citation to Stern article and an 1883 biography and portrait. Some information on the Major Publishers pages maintained by the Hyde Park Book Store.

LUCILE’s ISSUED BY R. Worthington & Co.:
Index of editions of Lucile: Alligator (leather), 1886; Apple Blossom (embossed leather), 1888-1892; Arundel (cloth), 1881-1887; Arundel (cloth), same, gilt and gilt edges, 1888; Arundel Quartos (cloth), 1884;"Beautifully Illustrated" (cloth), 1883-1892; Caxton Library (cloth), 1881-1883; Franklin (cloth), 1887-1892; Household (cloth), 1885-1889; Lovell's Red Line (cloth), 1880-1884; New Red Line (cloth), 1885-1887, 1889-1892; Pine and Bamboo (embossed leather), 1887-1889; Presentation (cloth), 1885-1892; Rosebud (leather), 1888-1889; World Library (cloth), 1890; Worthington's Eureka Edition (cloth), 1882; Worthington's Octavos (cloth), 1890-1891.

Index of editions of Meredith's Poetical Works: Alligator, 1886; Arundel, 1881-1888; Arundel. (same, gilt and gilt edges), 1888; Caxton Library, 1881-1883; Lovell's Red Line, 1880-1884; New Red Line, 1885-1890; Worthington's Editions in Morocco and Half Russia, 1882;
Worthington's Eureka Edition, 1882.

Reported copies of Lucile are presented in alphabetical order of series names:

Alligator (leather), 1886

Apple Blossom (embossed padded leather), 1888-1892

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Arundel (cloth), 1881-1888; Arundel Quartos (cloth), 1884

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"Beautifully Illustrated" (cloth), 1883-1892

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Caxton Library (cloth), 1881-1883

Franklin (cloth), 1887-1892

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Household (cloth), 1885-1889

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Lovell's Red Line (cloth), 1880-1884.

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New Red Line (cloth), 1885-1887, 1889-1892. This is a guess: the New Red Line series is not pictured in PTLA.

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Pine and Bamboo (embossed leather), 1887-1889

Presentation (cloth), 1885-1892

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Rosebud (leather), 1888-1889

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World Library (cloth), 1890

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Worthington's Eureka Edition (cloth), 1882

Worthington's Octavos (cloth), 1890-1891

Unidentified binding error?: 1884, 770 Broadway. 120x190mm, 369p. Red lined pages. "Belford, Clarke & Co." at bottom of spine. Blue-green cloth (with Belford, Clarke design). Aeg. University of Arizona: label of American Library Association Soldiers and Sailors Camp Library pasted on front board.

 

Reported copies of Meredith's Poetical Works are presented in alphabetical order of series names:

These are probably "New Red Line" editions (since no Household Edition of the Works is reported), but Worthington's assignment of books to series is not well understood at this time.

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PTLA Descriptions:

1880 PTLA: Poets. R. Worthington respectfully calls the attention of the trade to the fact that the following is the complete list of the the only Genuine "Lansdowne Poets" with the addition of three of his own manufacture, viz., Nos. 1,2, and 3, which are equal in every respect to the other vols. of the series. The trade will, therefore, be careful in ordering from other catalogues under this, or a similar title. [Under general heading, The Lansdowne Poets (27 titles); Lovell's Red Line. New Edition. 12mo, full gilt side and back, gilt edges, Each $1.25. (38 titles, including Works and Lucile; and Warne's Popular Poets (29 titles)].

1881 PTLA: Caxton Library. 12mo, cloth, gilt. 1.00 [includes Works and Lucile]. Poets, The Lansdowne [Lovell as 1880, offering Lucile only]. Poets-- Arundel. Complete Editions. Handsome volumes, large 12mo. cloth, extra gilt. 1.25. The same, gilt and gilt edges, 1.50. [Both Works and Lucile].

1882 PTLA: Caxton Library as 1881. Lovell's Red Line as 1881. Arundel offers only Works.

----. Worthington's Editions of the Poets in Morocco and Half Russia Bindings. 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. In most cases, the works will be found more complete than the foreign edition; 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. Red line editions. In fine bindings. 12mo. size, per volume bound in full morocco, extra, with gilt stamp and gilt edges. / Or in half russia, extra, with handsome gilt tooling on back, and marbled edges. [Only Works offered].

----. Worthington's Eureka Edition of the Poets. This edition of the Poets is of the most convenient 12mo size, is beautifully printed with Oxford red lines, on extra fine paper, elegantly bound in cloth, gilt, and altogether the most complete edition of these poets published. Cloth gilt extra, gilt edges. $1.25. / Cloth extra, plain edges. $1.00. [Offers Works and Lucile].

1882 September 23 PW: ad includes "The Caxton Library, 12mo, cloth, gilt, $1 per vol.," offering both Works and Lucile.

1883 PTLA: Caxton Library as 1881; Lovell's Red Line as 1881.
----. Meredith's Lucile. Beautifully illustrated with full-page engravings and in Red Line. 4to, gilt extra, gilt edges. $5.00.
----. Poets - Arundel. Complete Editions. Handsome volumes, large 12mo, cloth, extra gilt. 1.25. / The same, gilt and gilt edges. [Works and Lucile].

1884 PTLA: Meredith's Lucile as 1883. Lovell's Red Line as 1881. Arundel as 1882.
----. Arundel Quartos. Beautifully printed, and illustrated with full-page engravings. 4to, cloth, gilt extra, gilt edges, each 5.00. [Lucile only].

R. Worthington Co., renamed the Worthington Company, relocated to 747 Broadway in 1885. The firm had several battles with censor/reformer Anthony Comstock.

1885 PTLA: "Beautifully Illustrated" reduced to $3.75; [Same as?:] Poets -- Presentation Edition. Beautifully printed, and illustrated with full-page engravings. 4to, cloth, gilt extra, gilt edges, each. $3.75. / Red Line as 1881 [cut, but not described as Lovell's]; Arundel as 1882.
----Household Edition of the Red Line Poets. 12mo, cloth, gilt, plain edges. 1.25. [Lucile only].

1886 PTLA: "Beautifully illustrated"; Red Line; Household; Arundel; and Presentation as 1884.
----.Alligator Edition of the Poets. Red-line edition. Beautifully illustrated and bound in fancy alligator, padded, gilt edges, and boxed, each $2.00. [Both Works and Lucile].

1887 PTLA: "Beautifully illustrated"; Red Line; Household; Presentation; and Arundel as earlier.
----. Franklin Edition Popular 12mos. Printed in large, clear type, illustrated and handsomely bound, black and gold. Price, each $1.00. [Lucile only].
----. Pine and Bamboo Edition. Embossed Leather binding of new and rich design. $3.00. [Lucile only].
----. Apple Blossom Edition. Embossed leather binding in gold and colors. New design. $2.50. [Lucile only].

1888 PTLA: Beautifully illustrated; Franklin; New Red Line; Pine and Bamboo; Apple Blossom; Household; Arundel; and Presentation as earlier.
----. Rosebud Edition. (New design). $3.00. These entirely new designs in Leather Bound Poets are thoroughly artistic, and everything has been done to make them not only the prettiest but the cheapest books of the kind in the market.

1889 PTLA: Beautifully Illustrated; Franklin [cut]; Rosebud; Pine and Bamboo; Apple Blossom (described as half calf, gilt extra); Household; and Presentation editions as earlier.
----. LUCILE (Meredith's), nom de plume for Lord Lytton, has an eye for color, his ear is open for the cries of nature, he feels the hush of noon and the silence of midnight, and that, while he thinks clearly and feels deeply, he can express with rare facility and power.

1889 PW Christmas Bookshelf: address 747 B'way. Among Worthington Company's new publications, Lucile "illustrated with full-page engravings. 4to, cloth, gilt extra, gilt edges, $3.75."

1890 PTLA: Franklin; Beautifully Illustrated; New Red Line; Apple Blossom; Household; Presentation editions as earlier.
----. World Library. [Includes Lucile].
----. Worthington's Octavos. Beautifully printed and illustrated by the best artists. 8vo, cloth, gilt extra. $3.00 / Sheep, marbled edges, $4.00. [Includes Lucile].

1891 PTLA: Franklin; Beautifully illustrated; New Red Line; Apple Blossom; Household; Presentation; and Worthington's Octavos as earlier.

1892 PTLA: Franklin; Beautifully illustrated; New Red Line (New Design); Apple Blossom (New Design); and Presentation editions as earlier.

 

Last revised: 10 December 2012