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

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

by Toby Faber


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To celebrate its 90th anniversary, here is the untold story behind one of one of the world's most iconic publishing houses.
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 Drawing on material from memos to board minutes and unpublished memoirs, Faber takes us deep inside the evolution of the company: and along the way, we meet a cast of colorful characters that are stranger than fiction,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. It shows us how publishing can shift a nation's cultural conversation - and speaks directly to the way we engage with literature today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780571339044
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication date: 08/13/2019
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 518,148
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

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 Fabergé’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.

Table of Contents

List of plates: A selection of Faber jacket designs ix

Introduction xi

1 1924-1929

'She dislikes Elliott's poems very much' 1

2 1929-1935

'The Russell Square Twins' 64

3 1936-1939

'With a very real danger of war' 104

4 1939-1945

'Riding high on the crest of the highest wave' 138

5 1945-1950

'It taught me a valuable lesson' 182

6 1951-1960

'Flair rather than taste' 200

7 1960-1970

'People feel that we are smug' 259

8 1971-1979

'A reasonable hope of survival' 319

9 1980-1986

'Faber has been taken over by a different generation' 353

10 1986-1990

'A week is a long time in publishing' 387

Afterword 399

Appendix: Faber & Faber Sales and Profit History, 1929-1990 403

Acknowledgements 406

Index 411

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