31 Oct 2005
Q: I am not a bibliophile but I've come into possession of 15 copies from the Altemus Classics Series. They measure 5 1/2 x 4 1/4, green covers with gold colored embossed cover designs with floral and vines. The only dating I can find is in The Man Without A Country of which there are two copies in the collection. The dating is: Copyright, 1908, by Howard E. Altemus Published June, 1908.
I found your website but can't find any reference to this series of books which has been handed down to me from my father. I'd be interested in finding more information about these little books -- can you help me find a resource? I thank you in advance for taking time with this for me.
A: The website is only for new information not in the book. Thus, the Classics Series (Series #69) is not on the website.
The Classics Series was first published in 1907 and was in print until 1921. There were a total of 76 books in the series but in certain years particular books were added or deleted to the list such that only in a few years of publication was the entire list actually done. The name of the series was changed in 1909 to the Slip-in-the-Pocket Series (Series #166) presumably because the size of the books was perfect to slip in the pocket. Only the jackets (which all of these books had originally) ever had the name Slip-in-the-Pocket however.
There are 4 different formats. Most of the books are dark green but the soft leather book has been seen in brown. The format you have is the most common.
I hope that this is helpful. The complete listing with additional information about this series is in the bibliography.