Noel Carrington

Noel Carrington

Noel Carrington (1895–1989)[1] was an English book designer, editor and publisher. He was the originator of Puffin Books.[2] His sister was the artist Dora Carrington. He was the author of books on design and on recreation and also worked for Oxford University Press and Penguin Books. In the 1920s he went out to India on behalf of OUP to establish a branch office there.


Oxford University Press

Geoffrey Cumberlege and Noel Carrington replaced E. V. Rieu in the management of the Indian branches of Oxford University Press in 1920. Noel got Dora to illustrate his Stories Retold edition of Don Quixote for the Indian market. Their father Charles Carrington had been a railway engineer in India in the nineteenth century. Noel Carrington's unpublished memoir of his six years in India is in the Oriental and India Office Collections of the British Library. By 1915 there were makeshift depots at Madras and Calcutta. In 1920 Noel Carrington went to Calcutta to set up a proper branch. There he became friendly with Edward Thompson who involved him in the abortive scheme to produce the 'Oxford Book of Bengali Verse'.[3]

Personal life

He was the son of Charles Carrington and Dora Carrington was his sister. In 1925 Noel Carrington married Catharine Alexander (1904–2004), a country girl educated primarily by her schoolmaster father before attending Slade School of Fine Art where she met Dora and members of the Bloomsbury Group. They had three children, Paul, Joanna and Jane, and lived in Hampstead until soon after 1945 when they moved to Lambourn, Berkshire to farm at Long Acre.[4] Some of Noel Carrington's correspondence with his sister Dora has been published.

Selected publications

  • 1933: Broadway and the Cotswolds, ed. by Noel Carrington. Birmingham: Printed & published for the Lygon Arms, Broadway by the Kynoch Press
  • 1933: Design in the Home
  • 1943 - 1946 Achievement Books. London: Pilot Press
  • 1950: Camping by Water; ed. by Noel Carrington and Patricia Cavendish. London: Peter Davies
  • 1978: Carrington: paintings, drawings and decorations. Oxford: Polytechnic Press ISBN 0902692143; ISBN 0902692151 (Carrington = Dora Carrington; limited ed. of 1,000 copies; collector's ed. of 100 copies)


  1. ^ Ian Chilvers. A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999)
  2. ^ Rogerson, Ian (1992) Noel Carrington and his Puffin picture books: an exhibition catalogue. Manchester: Manchester Polytechnic Library ISBN 0901276421
  3. ^ Rimi B. Chatterjee, 'Canon Without Consensus: Rabindranath Tagore and the "Oxford Book of Bengali Verse"'. Book History 4:303-33.
  4. ^ Carrington, Catharine (1989) Memoirs. London: