The Musuem
Floor Plan

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - DW's Library

Dennis Wheatley's Library - his Bookplates

DW's earlier bookplate (left) and his Papé bookplate (right)

The earlier bookplate is from DW’s copy of Sigmund Freud’s
‘A Young Girl’s Diary’ (1921)

Click on the images to enlarge

For a transcript of the notes on the earlier bookplate, Click here

DW used two bookplates. His earlier bookplate was used from sometime late in the 1910s until 1928, when he replaced it with a pictorial bookplate specially designed for him by the artist Frank C Papé to commemorate his friend the late Gordon Eric Gordon-Tombe [See Room Three].

We can glean a certain amount from the earlier bookplates - not only DW's views of the individual books themselves, but also that he had a major re-organisation of his library during this early period, because the shelf references at the top were changed.

It is interesting to note that quite a number of the books in his early collection seem to have disappeared by the time that Blackwell’s compiled their catalogue in 1979, because their catalogue only lists some 66 items with the earlier bookplate (some being multi-volume sets, with DW’s earlier bookplate in each volume), whereas the ‘book numbers’ on the earlier bookplates go up to at least 604.

Dornford Yates’s books nestle (Lot 419)
alongside the household goods in the
1968 sale catalogue of some of the
surplus contents of Grove Place

Click on the images to enlarge

Some of these early acquisitions may have been given away, some lost and some sold. As an example of the latter, we know from the sale catalogue for Grove Place that when DW sold his country house to move up to London in 1968, alongside various household goods he sold off a quantity of books, including his signed set of Dornford Yates novels. It seems strange to see Dornford Yates (and his Zola collection) sold off alongside the household cleaning materials; one wonders if DW was aware.

When he took delivery of the new bookplate, DW did not destroy his old bookplates - but instead he carefully steamed them off the front endpapers and transferred them to the back endpapers of the volumes concerned. These books accordingly now have two bookplates.

References : On Gordon Eric Gordon-Tombe see Room Three of the Museum
Officer and Temporary Gentleman pp 134-138
Phil Baker Chapter 21
The Bookplate Journal Vol 4 No.2 (1986), W.E.Butler

Provenance : Private collections