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Faber & Faber: The Untold Story of a Great Publishing House

Faber & Faber: The Untold Story of a Great Publishing House (Hardback, Main)

By Faber, Toby

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And how did a tiny firm set up by two men in 1925 - weathering obstacles from wartime paper shortages to dramatic financial crashes - survive to this very day? Toby Faber has grown up with these stories, and uses a range of humorous and surprising sources to tell the history of t... read full description below.

ISBN 9780571339044
Barcode 9780571339044
Published 3 June 2019 by Faber and Faber
Format Hardback, Main
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Availability
In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780571339044
ISBN-10 0571339042
Stock Available
Status In stock at publisher; ships 6-12 working days
Publisher Faber and Faber
Imprint Faber & Faber
Publication Date 3 June 2019
International Publication Date 13 August 2019
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback, Main
Edition Main
Author(s) By Faber, Toby
Category Literary Studies: General
Biography & Autobiography: Literary
Number of Pages 448
Dimensions Width: 153mm
Height: 234mm
Spine: 31mm
Weight 735g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Publishers and publishing - History - Great Britain
NBS Text Biography: Literary
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 070.5092
Catalogue Code 986240

Description of this Book

We are changing our name and are moving in September to new premises at 24 Russell Square. Rather a fine house; we have got to build up as fine a publishing business as we can to inhabit it! - Letter from Geoffrey Faber Faber and Faber is one of the world's greatest independent publishers. Literary superstars like T.S.Eliot, William Golding, Ted Hughes, and Sylvia Plath are synonymous with the name 'Faber', as are the leafy squares of twentieth-century Bloomsbury. But what is the real tale behind the house that brought together these authors? And how did a tiny firm set up by two men in 1925 - weathering obstacles from wartime paper shortages to dramatic financial crashes - survive to this very day? Toby Faber has grown up with these stories, and uses a range of humorous and surprising sources to tell the history of the publisher in its own words. Drawing on material from memos to board minutes and unpublished memoirs, Faber takes us deep inside the evolution of the company: and along the way, we meet a cast of colourful characters that are stranger than fiction, whether poets or novelists, managers or editors. Decade by decade, Faber's portrait of one company's history becomes not only that of an entire century, but a hymn to the role of the arts in public life. The Russell Square Twins shows us how publishing can shift a nation's cultural conversation - and speaks directly to the way we engage with literature today.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review A namesake and descendant delivers a richly detailed biography of the distinguished British publishing house.After World War I, returning veteran Geoffrey Faber found himself relieved from a job for which he didn't have much talent, running a brewery, and talked his way into a medical publishing house, setting about diversifying the list with a literary magazine, works of fiction, and legal cram books. While the last never came about, writes Faber (Faberge's Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces That Outlived an Empire, 2008, etc.), Geoffrey eventually shaped a list dominated by literature, publishing many of the greats. As he wrote to a friend, the company's new premises on Russell Square provided an incentive to build up as fine a publishing business as we can to inhabit it! As the author writes in this documentary biography of the company, Geoffrey was fortunate in taking on the American poet T.S. Eliot, so much an Anglophile as to be more English than the English, as an early editor. Eliot often rejected submissions, but he also encouraged work by poets such as W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, helping make Faber a major presence in the literary world from the 1930s on. At the same time, other editors and directors brought in notable writers such as William Golding, who delivered a manuscript that he called A Cry of Children, soon to be superseded by a Faber editor's much more memorable Lord of the Flies. The author isn't shy about sharing the fiscal details of publishing, opening with the old adage that the way to make a small fortune in the business is to start with a large one. He also provides insight into the publishing work of rock legend Pete Townshend, who, despairing of the future of his band, came to work for Faber & Faber in 1983, writing what one colleague called good old-fashioned publishing reports, very serious, very diligent reports on the books we're considering. Students of modernist literature and publishing history will find this a pleasure. -- Kirkus
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

As the grandson of Faber's founder, Toby Faber grew up steeped in the company's books and its stories. He was Faber's managing director for four years and remains a non-executive director and chairman of sister company Faber Music. He has written two celebrated works of non-fiction, Stradivarius and Faberge's Eggs, and his first novel, Close to the Edge, will be published by Muswell Press in 2019. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.

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