Wisden 1946-1949

The 1946 hardback was also produced in two different cloths; rough light reddy brown and the usual smooth Wisden brown. The 1946 is less than half the size of the pre war editions, due to the post-war paper shortage However, it is the advertisements and the photographs that enthral, advertisements proudly proclaiming that a certain company is trading again and requests for patience when ordering. It also contains photographs of The Oval as a temporary prisoner of war camp and an artist’s impression of how Old Trafford will shortly look (it never did look that way and only in the last few years has the reconstruction and re-development of the ground been completed).

The article in the 1946 edition “Cricket Under the Japs” would more than likely not be allowed in today’s world of political correctness, but it is a stunning and moving piece. The author, EW Swanton died, aged 92, in 2000.

For the 1947 and 1948 hardbacks the wording on the spine appeared vertically, reverting to horizontally from 1949. The limp cloth 1948 has two editions, each of a different thickness due to post-war paper restrictions; the larger number printed on poor quality paperback type paper (this edition being normal Wisden thickness) and a much lesser number printed on high quality paper (this edition is roughly only 2/3 the thickness of the other).

The hardback editions for both 1947 and 1948 also come in two different styles. Whilst the covers and content are exactly the same, the ones that came off the press first for both years have very brown page edges/page block and it is exceedingly common for the top and bottom 10-20mm of each page within to also have a brown shade. Towards the end of both print runs two types of paper were used, so the page edges/page block has a two-tone look, lighter, thinner paper at the front and rear, darker paper in the middle.