Hogarth Press first edition book jacket designs
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (1939) Cover design by Vanessa Bell.
“Leonard Woolf decided after Virginia’s death to publish Between the Acts as she had written it, editing only for spelling and minor textual errors. John Lehmann supported him completely in this decision. The critical success and popularity of the book give evidence that Virginia had found her way into a new fusion of form and vision after The Years. After her death, Leonard carefully planned for the future, husbanding her stories, essays, and letters for judiciously timed collections. Over the next seventeen years, through 1958, Leonard published eight posthumous collections of Virginia’s writing, releasing a volume every two or three years on a schedule that approximated her production when alive. In this way Leonard kept Virginia’s name before the public and assisted in her growing critical acclaim. Even in death, Virginia Woolf remained the most productive and profitable of the Hogarth Press writers.”
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