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The Hogarth Press was a British publishing house founded in 1917 by Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf. It was named after their house in Richmond (then in Surrey and now in London), in which they began hand-printing books.

Hogarth Press
Hogarth Press House, Richmond, Surrey.jpg
Hogarth House, 34 Paradise Road, Richmond, London
StatusOwned by Random House
Founded1917
FounderLeonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf
SuccessorChatto & Windus
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks

During the interwar period, the Hogarth Press grew from a hobby of the Woolfs to a business when they began using commercial printers. In 1938 Virginia Woolf relinquished her interest in the business and it was then run as a partnership by Leonard Woolf and John Lehmann until 1946, when it became an associate company of Chatto & Windus. "Hogarth" is now an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, part of Random House Inc.

As well as publishing the works of the members of the Bloomsbury group, the Hogarth Press was at the forefront of publishing works on psychoanalysis and translations of foreign, especially Russian, works.

HistoryEdit

Printing was a hobby for the Woolfs, and it provided a diversion for Virginia when writing became too stressful. The couple bought a handpress in 1917 for £19 (equivalent to about £1295 in 2018)[1] and taught themselves how to use it. The press was set up in the dining room of Hogarth House, where the Woolfs lived, lending its name to the publishing company they founded. In July they published their first text, a book with one story written by Leonard and the other written by Virginia.[2]

Between 1917 and 1946 the Press published 527 titles.[3]

Hogarth Press has begun producing a series of modern retellings of William Shakespeare plays, for which it has hired a variety of authors, such as Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, Tracy Chevalier and Edward St Aubyn for The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Othello and King Lear respectively.

Number of publications by year from 1917 to 1946[4]
Year 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946
Titles published 1 2 5 3 6 9 14 14 28 31 42 30 30 30 34 36 20 21 24 23 20 17 23 12 13 12 7 10 4 4
Profit generated by the Hogarth Press publication (without bonuses and salaries)[5]
Year 1917–18 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938
Profit £13 8s 8d £13 14s 2d £68 19s 4d £25 5s 6d £10 6s 4d £5 7s 8d £3 17s 0d £73 1s 1.5d £26 19s 1d £64 2s 0d £380 16s 0d £580 14s 8d £2,373 4s 2.5d £2,209 0s 1.5d £1,693 4s 1d £929 15s 2.5d £516 13s 0d £598 7s 2d £84 5s 0d £2,422 18s 5d £35 7s 7d

SeriesEdit

The Hogarth Press produced a number of publication series that were affordable as well as being attractively bound and printed, and usually commissioned from well known authors. These include the initial Hogarth Essays in three series 1924–1947 (36 titles), Hogarth Lectures on Literature (2 series 1927–1951), Merttens Lectures on War and Peace (8 titles 1927–1936), Hogarth Living Poets (29 titles 1928–1937), Day to Day Pamphlets (1930–1939), Hogarth Letters (12 titles 1931–1933) and World-Makers and World-Shakers (4 titles 1937).[6]

The Essays were the first series produced by the press and include works by Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf and Gertrude Stein. Virginia Woolf's defence of modernism, Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1924) was the initial publication in the series. Cover illustrations were by Vanessa Bell.[6]

The Letters are less well known, and are epistolary in form. Authors include E.M. Forster and Virginia Woolf. Woolf's A Letter to a Young Poet (1932), was number 8, and addressed to John Lehmann as an exposition on modern poetry. Cover illustrations were by John Banting.[7][6] In 1933, the entire series was reissued as a single volume,[8] and are available on the Internet Archive in a 1986 edition.[9]

  1. A letter to Madam Blanchard, E. M. Forster (1931)
  2. A letter to an M.P. on disarmament, Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood (1931)
  3. A letter to a sister, Rosamond Lehmann (1931)
  4. The French pictures: a letter to Harriet, Robert Mortimer and John Banting (1932)
  5. A letter from a black sheep, Francis Birrell (1932)
  6. A letter to W.B. Yeats, L. A. G. Strong (1932)
  7. A letter to a grandfather, Rebecca West (1933)
  8. A letter to a young poet, Virginia Woolf (1932)
  9. A letter to a modern novelist, Hugh Walpole (1932)
  10. A letter to an archbishop, J. C. Hardwick (1932)
  11. A letter to Adolf Hitler, Louis Golding (1932)
  12. A letter to Mrs. Virginia Woolf, Peter Quennell (1932)

Notable title historyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Inflation calculator". Bank of England.
  2. ^ Gaither 1986, pp. xx–xxi
  3. ^ Gaither 1986, p. xviii
  4. ^ Woolmer 1986
  5. ^ Willis 1992, 406
  6. ^ a b c Delaware2010.
  7. ^ B & B 2018.
  8. ^ Woolf & Woolf 1933.
  9. ^ Lee 1986.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit