Mysteries of the Court of London

A few months back I bought a book called Mysteries of the Court of London, by George M. Reynolds. Well, it is actually a book in ten volumes, each volume being about 500 pages. So, it is a 5,000 page novel essentially-which is about three times as long as War and Peace. Now, when I bought the set, I was perfectly aware that Reynolds had written a book titled Mysteries of London, but somehow imagined that it was part of Mysteries of the Court of London. Now, after seeing some of the text of the previously mentioned work, I have discovered that it is completely different, though equally as long! Apparently, the two works together are made up of 4.5 million words. As they were written over a twelve year period however, this averages about 1,100 words a day, or about four pages, which is quite a lot, but not phenomenal. What is phenomenal however, is that in this same period he completed another 11 series, including Mysteries of the Court of Naples and Mysteries of Old London. As these titles are very difficult to come  by however, I am uncertain about the lengths.

Here is a little taste from Mysteries of London:

Women press their little ones to their dried-up breasts in the agonies of despair; young delicate creatures waste their energies in toil from the dawn of day till long past the hour of midnight, perpetuating their unavailing labour from the hour of the brilliant sun to that when the dim candle sheds its light around the attic’s naked walls; and even the very pavement groans beneath the weight of grief which the poor are doomed to drag over the rough places of this city of sad contrasts.
    For in this city the daughter of the peer is nursed in enjoyments, and passes through an uninterrupted avenue of felicity from the cradle to the tomb; while the daughter of poverty opens her eyes at her birth upon destitution in all its most appalling shapes, and at length sells her virtue for a loaf of bread.
    There are but two words known in the moral alphabet of this great city; for all virtues are summed up in the one, and all vices in the other: and those words are
    WEALTH.    |    POVERTY.  


6 Responses to Mysteries of the Court of London

  1. cher says:

    I recently inherited quite a group of books. And included in the large amount was the set of 10 books from the series “Mysteries of the Court of London”. There is no date in the books, but do state Privately printed for members of The Oxford Society in London and Boston.
    The books look quite old and are somewhat black leather soft cover. In pencil on the first volume it says 10 volume $75.00. Any idea what these would be worth, or have know where I can look. Thanks for your help if you can.

  2. brendanconnell says:

    Hi Cher,

    Well, my attitude towards books is always: They’re worth what someone will pay.

    The edition you have is the same that I have, which is a later, probably unauthorized, reprint. I don’t remember how much I paid, but I am pretty sure it was under 100 dollars. Maybe 50? My copies are a bit tattered however.

    That being said, complete collections are hard to come by, and earlier editions are very expensive, so clearly I got a very good deal on mine.

    To do research on “worth” you should go to, and see what book sellers are charging. But just because someone asks a certain price, doesn’t mean they can find a buyer to pay it.

  3. John says:

    I have a book that is green and is very old by the looks of it. On the binder it says “Works of Reynolds 12” Then underneath it says “Lady Saxondale’s Crimes 2” then something like “Edition de duxe”

    All pictures have some kind of rice paper covering them and one picture has the words “The Mysteries of the Court of London”
    Cant find its value anywhere. Suggestions??

    • brendanconnell says:

      It is just a single volume I take it? This is probably one of, I think, two reprints issued in the US. If you had the whole set, the value could be up to maybe 500 dollars, but a single volume would only be of real value to someone who had the others but were missing that…I’d think not more than 20 dollars. Some of Reynolds work is extremely hard to come by, but if the edition you mention is what I think it is, it is one of the more common ones.

  4. teresa says:

    Hi is court of London the same book as just the mysteries of London pls love listening to this book on libravox but would love to know exactly how many vols there is in total and are they all available on line or available to buy its an awesome listen to better than dickens or same level of brilliant author thanks

  5. teresa says:

    Pls help i think i have an original book of ella wheeler wilcox its pocket size very old leather bound with lots different poems that one about cry alone is in it also reflections and its brown in colour and gold leaf ive tried to look up but none iv seen looks any thing like mine how would i find out about it it has no title on it just her name in gold any advice would be appreciated also thanks Teresa x

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