Who Wrote the TY Books?
Aug 2019 - Alex Alejandre

I have a copy of Teach Yourself Turkish, which was first published in 1919 (see page 4.) Rather perplexing, because the author G.L. Lewis was born in 1920. The publisher itself (English University Press) was founded in 1938. Intriguing. His obituary says he only discovered Turkish in 1939. Stranger still, Wikipedia gives 1953.

Diving down the rabbit hole, H.L. Williamson’s Teach Yourself Chinese was first printed in 1923, M.B. Lewis' Teach Yourself Malay in 1917, A.S. Tritton’s Teach Yourself Arabic in 1913. What’s going on?

Teach Yourself German came out in 1938 with 3 authors, one who died in 1934. This book helpfully states it “is based on the work by Sir John Adams, completely revised and enlarged” by Wells and Jenkins, first printing this enlarged form of his Self Education in German 37 years later in 1938. Such a clear explanation is otherwise missing in the series.

Might we safely assume these dates refer to some pre-enlarged sources? I have found no Chinese textbook from 1923, no Turkish one from 1919.