THE BOOKS . . . . . . . .
In which can be found an illustrated bibliography of Morton's books, pamphlets and other works. I include in a later section a wider (and shorter) list of books about the author or compiled and re-edited from his original writings. Finally a list of internet book sellers is provided to help those inspired to read more by Morton or simply expand their collection - I am told there is a difference between book readers and book collectors!
Listed below are the titles of the books, booklets and pamphlets written by H.V. Morton. He was a prolific writer and his body of work contains many hundreds of newspaper and magazine features and articles, the total of which may never be fully catalogued.
1. THE HEART OF LONDON
Forty-nine essays about life in London taken from the pages of the Daily Express. In 1940 this was combined with ‘The Spell of London’ and ‘The Nights of London’ into a single volume titled ‘H.V. Morton’s London’.
First published: Methuen, London, 11 June 1925. First USA edition (?): Brentano’s Publishers, New York, 1925.
2. THE SPELL OF LONDON
Fifty-one essays about life in London taken from the pages of the Daily Express. In 1940 this was combined with ‘The Heart of London’ and ‘The Nights of London’ into a single volume titled ‘H.V. Morton’s London’.
First published: Methuen, London, 11 February 1926. First USA edition (?): Brentano’s Publishers, New York, 1927
3. LONDON (The Little Guides Series)
A pocket-guide to London which replaced a similar title written by George Clinch and published by Methuen in 1912. It was published in the USA in a larger format with the title ‘The London Scene’, and in 1937 it was revised and published in the UK with the title: ‘London – A Guide’.
First published: Methuen, London, June 1926. First USA edition (?): McBride, New York, 1926
4. THE LONDON SCENE
A larger format USA edition of the pocket-guide: ‘London’ (The Little Guides Series).
First published: McBride, New York, 1926.
5. THE LONDON YEAR, A BOOK OF MANY MOODS
A series of essays describing the different social events that take place in London during each month of the year. In 1927 it was published in the USA with the title ‘When You Go To London’. In a revised edition in 1933 the UK title was changed to ‘A London Year’.
First published: Methuen, London, 29 July 1926.
6. THE NIGHTS OF LONDON
Thirty-eight essays looking at London after dark, with one exception taken from the pages of the Daily Express. In 1940 this was combined with ‘The Heart of London’ and ‘The Spell of London’ into a single volume titled ‘H.V. Morton’s London’.
First published: Methuen, London, 11 November 1926.
7. WHEN YOU GO TO LONDON
A USA edition of ‘The London Year, A Book of Many Moods’, with a new introductory section titled “Before You Go To London”.
The first American edition of "When You Go To London" is believed to have been published by Harper and Bros., New York, 1927, although there is some question as to whether McBride & Co. of New York may, in fact, have published the first American edition at an earlier date in the same year.
D & M Packaging - It was quite a revelation to me when I discovered, after a conversation with a “librarious person” recently, that it was actually possible to cover and preserve the sometimes incredibly fragile dust jackets of books. Up to then I think I had imagined that the protective sleeves which are occasionally seen on books had been put there by the publisher.
On further investigation I discovered that various forms of dustwrapper protection are available in the forms of clear pockets which jackets can be slipped into and then are folded to size or clear film which wrap around the jackets. I eventually managed to get hold of some "Trimsleeve" dust wrapper protection from D&M packaging supplies and I've been happily occupied cutting, wrapping and taping ever since (much to my family's amusement).
It is very easy to do, the Trimsleeve material folds easily, has little "memory" (so doesn't want to spring back to its original shape) and it is a far more satisfying occupation than I would ever have believed. I have a few books of great sentimental value to me from my childhood (nothing valuable, just greatly loved) which I had actually become quite fearful of handling, never mind reading, for fear of damaging their frail jackets, so to see them safely protected means they have a new lease of life - I can handle them and arrange them on shelves without concern. They are back to being how they should be - proper books that I am looking forward to re-reading, not just objects to be looked at and worried over. A most satisfying undertaking, now I can't wait to get into the mysterious world of tapes, glues, polishes and preservatives!
The University of Illinois has a fantastic section on their web site concerning the repair, restoration, care and proper storage of books leaflets and pamphlets. The team there are obviously extremely dedicated to their craft, their love of the subject and the objects of their devotion comes through very clearly in the text and pictures. There is some highly detailed information there outlining everything to replacing a worn spine to what sort of paperclips to use when transporting documents. It is well worth a read, even if you have no intention of repairing a book at any stage just for an account of what can be done to preserve documents which have suffered the depredations of time.
The conservation section of the links page on the website of The Book Guide has many useful links to suppliers of materials used in book repair.
Despite my slightly tongue in cheek sniffiness about electronic publications generally in a previous society bulletin I'm not as much of a technophobe as all that (honest!). To prove my point I have even located some of Morton's books which are available on line, and they are provide here for your delectation. They are available free of charge to read online or to be downloaded in a variety of formats including pdf's.
The “Internet Archive” is a non-profit organisation which is “building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form”, they aim to provide “free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public".
“Epubbud” is also a not for profit organisation set up in 2010, originally as a platform for online children's books as a memorial for a newborn baby who tragically survived only a few hours following delivery. Among other things the webmaster is keen that prospective parents are made aware of the risks involved in home-birth.
I am most grateful to both these websites and their contributors for promoting literature and books generally and the works of Morton in particular.
If anyone reading this knows of any other works of Morton which are available please drop me a line and I will include them in this section.