Hogarth Press first edition book jacket designs
Leonard Woolf, Fear and Politics (1925) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
This is number 7 in the first series of Hogarth Essays, which began in 1924. It was the first of Leonard Woolf’s political contributions to the press. Cover design by Vanessa Bell. In his essay, Leonard writes from the point of view of the animals in a zoo:
“Human beings delude themselves that a League of Nations or Protection or armies and navies are going to give them security and civilization in their jungle.” According to the narrator, who is an elephant, humans “are the savagest race of carnivora known in the jungle, and they will never be happy and civilized, and the world will never be safe for democracy or for any other animal, until each human animal is confined in a separate cage.”
J.H. Willis Jr, Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers: The Hogarth Press 1917-1941
Hogarth Press studies
Woolf’s-head Publishing is a wonderful collection of cover designs, book jackets, and illustrations – but also a beautiful example of book production in its own right. It was produced as an exhibition catalogue and has quite rightly gone on to enjoy an independent life of its own. This book is a genuine collector’s item, and only months after its first publication it started to win awards for its design and production values. Anyone with the slightest interest in book production, graphic design, typography, or Bloomsbury will want to own a copy the minute they clap eyes on it.
Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers: Hogarth Press, 1917-41 John Willis brings the remarkable story of Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s success as publishers to life. He generates interesting thumbnail sketches of all the Hogarth Press authors, which brings both them and the books they wrote into sharp focus. He also follows the development of many of its best-selling titles, and there’s a full account of the social and cultural development of the press. This is a scholarly work with extensive footnotes, bibliographies, and suggestions for further reading – but most of all it is a very readable study in cultural history.
© Roy Johnson 2005