The Head of Kay's by P.G. Wodehouse
The Head of Kay's
by P.G. Wodehouse

Let’s step back in time to the early years of the 20th century. Edward VII is on the throne and a British publisher is producing books with beautifully illustrated boards. That publisher is A&C Black and its books would not look out of place on the set of Downton Abbey.

The covers offer an insight into the rise of the Art Nouveau movement and also reveal much about the Edwardian fashion of top hats and tails.

A&C Black, founded in 1807 by Adam and Charles Black, is best known for spotting the talent of P.G. Wodehouse. It published Wodehouse’s first book, The Pothunters in 1902 and continued to publish his work, including notable books like the Psmith series, into the 1950s.

A&C Black is also known for publishing Who’s Who since 1897. Who’s Who is a reference book for the elite of British society and the type of publication that could only be printed by the British. It simply lists, along with biographies, notable people and they are, according to the book’s 1897 editor, people whose “prominence is inherited, or depending on office, or the result of ability which singles them out from their fellows.” Aristocrats, politicians, academics, scientists and artists are all included. Some people are born into the book, while others have to earn their listing.

The publisher also began printing Black’s Medical Dictionary in 1907 and this reference book has also become an institution. A&C Black still exists but has been part of the Bloomsbury publishing empire since 2000.

A Selection of A&C Black's Books

The Gold Bat by P.G. Wodehouse
The Gold Bat
by P.G. Wodehouse
A Prefect's Uncle by P.G. Wodehouse
A Prefect's Uncle
by P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith in the City
by P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith Journalist by P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith Journalist
by P.G. Wodehouse
William Tell Told Again by P.G. Wodehouse
William Tell Told Again
by P.G. Wodehouse
Canada by Wilfred Campbell
Canada
by Wilfred Campbell
Australia by Frank Fox
Australia
by Frank Fox
Russia by G. Dobson
Russia
by G. Dobson
Ireland by Frank Mathew
Ireland
by Frank Mathew
Malta by Frederick W. Ryan
Malta
by Frederick W. Ryan
Algeria & Tunis by Frances E. Nesbitt
Algeria & Tunis
by Frances E. Nesbitt
Brittany by Dorothy Menpes
Brittany
by Dorothy Menpes
Naples by Sybil Fitzgerald
Naples
by Sybil Fitzgerald
Bonnie Scotland by A.R. Hope Moncrieff
Bonnie Scotland
by A.R. Hope Moncrieff
Oxford by Edward Thomas
Oxford
by Edward Thomas
Familiar London by Rose Barton
Familiar London
by Rose Barton
Constantinople by Van Alexander Millingen
Constantinople
by Van Alexander Millingen
The Little Fairy Sister by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite
The Little Fairy Sister
by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite
George Morland His Life and Works by Sir Walter Gilbey
George Morland His Life and Works
by Sir Walter Gilbey
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward Fitzgerald
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
translated by Edward Fitzgerald
London to the Nore by W.L. Wyllie
London to the Nore
by W.L. Wyllie
Plant Life by Charles A. Hall
Plant Life
by Charles A. Hall
John Pettie by Martin Hardie
John Pettie
by Martin Hardie
Insect Life by C.A. Ealand
Insect Life
by C.A. Ealand
War Posters by Martin Hardie
War Posters
by Martin Hardie
From Damascus to Palmyra by John Kelman
From Damascus to Palmyra
by John Kelman
Warwickshire by Clive Holland
Warwickshire
by Clive Holland

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