New English Library

The New English Library was a United Kingdom book publishing company, which became an imprint of Hodder Headline.


New English Library (NEL) was created in 1961 by the Times Mirror Company of Los Angeles, with the takeover of two small British paperback companies, Ace Books Ltd and Four Square Books Ltd, as a complement to its 1960 acquisition of New American Library in the United States.[1] NEL's top bestseller of the 1960s was The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins.[2]

The imprint was sold in 1981 to Hodder & Stoughton,[3] and became part of the merged Hodder Headline in 1993.

It has published genres such as fantasy, science fiction, mystery and suspense.[4] They have published the works of Stephen King, Harold Robbins, James Herbert and science fiction authors have included Brian Aldiss, Frank Herbert, Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Moorcock and Christopher Priest. New English Library titles were particularly popular in the early 1970s, when hack writers were hired to work under names such as Richard Allen and Mick Norman to churn out tales of Hells Angels and skinheads. These older New English Library books have some cult following, especially in the UK.[5]

The brand continued as a mass-market imprint for Hodder Headline, focussing on thrillers and horror, until 2004 when it was dropped following Hodder's assimilation into the Hachette Livre group, and a single Hodder & Stoughton paperback list was created, combining the NEL titles then in print with those in Hodder's previous Coronet (mainstream) and Flame (young and contemporary) paperback lines.[6]


  1. Thomas L. Bonn, Uneasy Lie the Heads: New American Library in Transition in Fred Kobrak, Beth Luey (eds.), The Structure of International Publishing in the 1990s, Transaction Publishers, 1992.
  2. Andrew Wilson, Harold Robbins: The Man Who Invented Sex. New York: Bloomsbury, 2007, p. 153.
  3. Ion Trewin, Philip Attenborough obituary, The Independent, 7 April 2006
  4. "WriteWords: New English Library". Retrieved 2006-05-24.
  5. Gary Dobbs, "Great Paperback Publishers: New English Library", Retrieved on 24 October 2016.
  6. Nicholas Clee, The Bookseller, The Guardian, 25 September 2004

Further reading

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