While the cover of Fifty Shades of Grey displays a degree of restraint, publishers and consumers of the romance genre did not always have such a taste for understated dust-jackets. Instead, they favoured a more direct approach.
In these examples from Gowans and Gray’s playbooks of the 1910s to 30s and Nelson’s Novels from the 20s onwards, it’s clear that previous generations wanted to get right to the action.
Over 500 books from the Nelson publishing archive have been shelf-marked and catalogued by rare books cataloguing interns Beth and Fiona. There are only around another 9,500 left to go!
The books in the collection reflect the decades of the 20th century- beginning with the staid, uniform editions of the New Century Library; progressing through stylish art deco illustrations; austere WWI and WWII paper; bright, pulpy dust-jackets from the ‘40s and ‘50s; and into rainbow-hued classics of the later decades.
Interesting examples of the changing book styles of the 20th century will be exhibited in the 6th floor display wall at the Centre for Research Collections next year.
Fiona Mowat and Beth Dumas , CRC Cataloguing Interns