Hogarth Press first edition book jacket designs
Rebecca West, A Letter to a Grandfather (1933) Hogarth Letters, Number 7. Cover design by John Banting.
“In spite of his financially cautious recruitment of Margaret West for Hogarth manager in February 1933 and his by-now-familiar claim that he did not want to publish books merely because they might be profitable, Leonard Woolf did not neglect to pump up the press income when he could. In that very month he tried to rescue the Hogarth Letters series after twelve titles by binding together eleven of the letters into a single volume with a new title page as The Hogarth Letters. The effort was not successful, and he terminated the series after publishing the last one in March, Rebecca West’s Letter to a Grandfather.”
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