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There is a very interesting article in the 1963 edition by L.E.S.Gutteridge, entitled “A History of Wisden”. It sheds hardly any light on the early print runs but does contain a lot of interesting information.
It has been suggested that Mr Gutteridge was paid for the article and for other work he undertook for the publishers from 1962 -1964 with a complete run of Wisdens, valued at around £275. A vast amount! Mr Gutteridge also owned a book shop and it could be argued that it was in his interests not to divulge (if known) print runs from the early years. Modern day cynics and the abundance of “information” real or not available to the latter day researcher have fuelled this opinion.
In reality paying a writers fee with a full set of Wisdens would have been unusual and as there is no record of any other contributor being paid in this way then it is fair to say that this assumption may well be incorrect.
Mr Gutteridge may have been told that no records of early print runs were available and indeed his employers may well have believed that to be the case. In the article the following are given as print runs for the years either side of WW2.