UK Services Editions


Mind the gaps - Part 2

Posted by Baronbern on March 2, 2014 at 12:10 PM

The series of Collins Services Editions is not the only one with missing titles (see previous post). Guild Books too allocated numbers to their books and after a bit more detective work recently, I have now identified titles and authors for 215 of the numbers from S1 to S231 (see checklist page), leaving 16 missing titles. Again the missing books probably do exist, and I’d love to hear from anybody who has knowledge of them.

The only other publisher to allocate numbers to their Services Editions was Penguin, whose numbers go from SE1 to SE18. Unusually for Penguin though, the numbering is not consistent, with several books missing from this sequence, one number used twice and other books appearing under their standard Penguin number, rather than their SE number. It’s possible that other books exist, but the big difference with Penguin is that there is a small army of collectors researching and unearthing the books. It seems unlikely that many books have evaded their combined efforts.

Guild Books numbered S16 and S17.  But what is the title of S13?

For other publishers we have no numbering systems to indicate possible missing titles, so it’s even more difficult to work out what might exist. There is a seemingly comprehensive and accurate list of the standard Hutchinson Services Editions in several of the books, but this doesn’t preclude other non-standard editions, such as the one Crime Book Society title I have. For Nicholson and Watson the problem is the other way round – there is a list of titles on the back cover of the books, but some doubt over whether several of these books were ever issued. Four of the twelve books are relatively easy to find, while the other eight have never been seen to my knowledge. And for Hammond & Hammond, Methuen, and Hodder & Stoughton we are operating completely in the dark. It seems quite likely that there are other books not listed on my checklist, particularly for Hodder & Stoughton, but the only way to find out is to find copies of the books.


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