Laurentian Library

Laurentian Library Collage

Laurentian Library Collage

The Laurentian Library was conceived in the 1960s. It began publication in September of 1967 as a direct competitor of the New Canadian Library. Owned by Macmillan of Canada, the Laurentian Library competed with the NCL until 1979 when it finally went under. The series reached more than fifty titles before its demise. Whereas the NCL had introductions to its books by noted writers and critics, the Laurentian Library did not even have a series editor for the library. The library was printed on cheap newsprint and was less attractive to students and professors who, at the beginning of the boom in CanLit in the 60’s, were the main drivers of sales. In a twist of irony, Macmillan had first dibs on the NCL when Sinclair Ross (the NCL’s first general editor) approached John Gray to sell him on the series back in the early 50’s but Gray declined.

The books came in a regular-sized paperback (7″ x 4 1/4″) and a larger-sized edition (7 1/2″ x 5 1/4″). The larger books will be designated with “LB” in parenthesis in the table below.

Laurentain Library

Book Cover#Book TitleAuthor
Laurentian Library Two Solitudes Book Cover1Two SolitudesHugh MacLennan
Laurentian Library Two Solitudes Book Cover1Two Solitudes (LB) (Variation)Hugh MacLennan
Laurentian Library Morley Callaghan's Stories Book Cover5Morley Callaghan’s StoriesMorley Callaghan
Laurentian Library Hetty Dorval Book Cover6Hetty DorvalEthel Wilson
Laurentian Library The Loved and the Lost Book Cover9The Loved and the LostMorley Callaghan
Laurentian Library The Loved and the Lost Book Cover9The Loved and the Lost (LB)Morley Callaghan
Laurentian Library The Loved and the Lost Book Cover9The Loved and the Lost (LB) (Variation)Morley Callaghan
Laurentian Library Each Man's Son Book Cover11Each Man’s SonHugh MacLennan
Laurentian Library The Many Colored Coat Book Cover12The Many Colored CoatMorley Callaghan
Laurentian Library It's Never Over Book Cover13It’s Never OverMorley Callaghan
Laurentian Library Who Has Seen the Wind Book Cover14Who Has Seen the WindW. O. Mitchell
Laurentian Library Who Has Seen the Wind Book Cover14Who Has Seen the Wind (LB)W. O. Mitchell
Laurentian Library Who Has Seen the Wind Book Cover14Who Has Seen the Wind (LB)(Variation)W. O. Mitchell
Laurentian Library Strange Fugitive Book Cover15Strange FugitiveMorley Callaghan
Laurentian Library An Autumn Penitent Book Cover16An Autumn PenitentMorley Callaghan
Laurentian Library Maria Chapdelaine Book Cover17Maria Chapdelaine (LB)Louis Hémon
Laurentian Library  The Watch That Ends the Night Book Cover32The Watch That Ends the Night (LB)Hugh MacLennan
Laurentian Library A Broken Journey Book Cover36A Broken Journey (LB)Morley Callaghan
Laurentia Library The French Canadians, Volume Two Book Cover44The French Canadians, Volume Two (LB)Mason Wade
Laurentian Library Man Descending Book Cover75Man Descending (LB)Guy Vanderhaeghe

4 thoughts on “Laurentian Library

  1. If you are interested in some scans, I have both #3 The Conspirators (D. J. Goodspeed) and #8 Hetty Dorval (Ethel Wilson) in the regular size; and #11 Each Man’s Son (Hugh MacLennan) in the larger version. ….Bob

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