Blog posts by Mark Godburn

Mark Godburn is the author of Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets (2016), a general history, and "Early Bindery Dust-Jackets" (2019), the first written record of eighteenth-century European jackets. He is working on an expanded history of dust jackets and related book coverings from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries and is looking for early examples from any country. Email markrgodburn@gmail.com.


Jacketed Three-Deckers

By Mark Godburn

I would like to record any three-deckers with surviving dust-jackets. I have one, and have heard of another, but there probably aren't many more than that. Three-Decker under Canvas. Three-Decker under Paper. A Thomas Hardy three-decker of unknown title is reported to retain remnants of jackets printed with rules and lettering. Does anyone know what title this is, and where it is today? My own three-decker is J. M. Barrie's The Little Minister (London, Paris and Melbourne: Cassell & Co., 1891) in the publisher's fine-ribbed cloth with plain white wove tissue jackets. This copy, described as the finest example extant, sold for $1,100 in 1938, quite a sum during the Great Depression. The plain jackets are definitely original: they exactly match the plain white tissue jacket on another Cassell novel, Robert Louis Stevenson's and Lloyd Osbour... [more Jacketed Three-Deckers]

Early Bindery Dust Jackets

By Mark Godburn

Research documenting rare bindery dust jackets from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Adapted from the Spring 2019 Journal of The Private Libraries Association, Pinner, Middlesex, England. Reprinted by permission. The practice of issuing dust jackets on new books is generally thought to have begun with the introduction of publishers' bindings around 1820. Books issued before then (and after) in provisional bindings are believed to have neither needed nor received jackets.1 But while this understanding of early jacket use has long seemed correct for British, American and European books, recently examined evidence shows that dust jackets were issued long before the 1820s in the German states and probably elsewhere in Europe. Most of the surviving examples of these jackets, including the earliest ones, are of German origin, which is... [more Early Bindery Dust Jackets]