Hogarth Press first edition book jacket designs
Virginia Woolf, Monday or Tuesday (March, 1921) Cover design and woodcut illustrations by Vanessa Bell
This was a collection of seven short stories. It contains: ‘A Haunted House’, ‘A Society’, ‘Monday or Tuesday’, ‘An Unwritten Novel’, ‘The String Quartet’, ‘Blue and Green’, and ‘Solid Objects’.
“At the end of the first year, April 1922, the book had sold a total of 503 copies, showing a deficit to the press of £8 3s. 9d. During the next two years, the book averaged 70 copies per year. When Leonard Woolf closed out the account at the end of March 1924, Monday or Tuesday in three years had sold only 643 copies and made a slim profit of £18 17s. 10d. Virginia, as author, was awarded approximately one fifth of the third year’s profit, amounting to £2 16s. 5d. With such modest returns, the press and its authors just managed to stay afloat during the first five years of existence.”
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