- Faber and Faber
Faber and Faber, often abbreviated to Faber, is an independent publishing house in the UK, notable in particular for publishing a great deal of poetry and for its former editor
T. S. Eliot. Faber has a rich tradition of publishing a wide range of fiction, non fiction, drama, film and music books, as well as books for children. In 2006 the company was named Publisher of the Year.
Faber and Faber began as a firm in 1929, but its roots go back further to "
The Scientific Press", owned by Sir Maurice and Lady Gwyer. Faber and Gwyer derived much of its income from the weekly magazine "The Nursing Mirror". Their desire to expand into trade publishing led them to Geoffrey Faber, a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Faber and Gwyer was founded in 1925. After four years, "The Nursing Mirror" was sold and Geoffrey Faber and the Gwyers agreed to go their separate ways. Searching for a name with a ring of respectability, Geoffrey hit on the name Faber and Faber, although the implied partnership was pure invention.
In the meantime, the firm had prospered.
T. S. Eliot, who had been suggested to Faber by a colleague at All Souls, had left Lloyds Bank in London to join him as a literary adviser and in the first season the firm issued his "Poems 1909 - 1925". In addition, the catalogues from the early years included books by Ezra Pound, Jean Cocteau, Herbert Read, Max Eastman, George Rylands, John Dover Wilson, Geoffrey Keynes, Forrest Reidand Vita Sackville-West. In 1928 the anonymous " Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man" appeared, proving so popular that over the next six months it was reprinted eight times. Siegfried Sassoon's name was added to the title page for the second impression as the book became Faber's first commercial success, and an enduring literary classic.
Role in publishing
Poetrywas always to be a prime element in the Faber list and under T. S. Eliot's aegis W. H. Auden, Stephen Spenderand Louis MacNeicesoon joined Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wyndham Lewis, John Gould Fletcher, Roy Campbell, James Joyceand Walter de la Mare.
Under Geoffrey Faber's chairmanship the board in 1929 included
T. S. Eliot, Richard de la Mare, Charles Stewartand Frank Morley. This young and highly intelligent team built up a comprehensive and profitable catalogue which always had a distinctive physical identity and much of which is still in print. Biographies, memoirs, fiction, poetry, political and religious essays, artand architecturemonographs, children's books, and a pioneering ecologylist years ahead of its time, gave an unmistakable character to the productions of 24 Russell Square, the firm's Georgian offices in Bloomsbury. It also published T. S. Eliot's literary review, " The Criterion".
Second World War, paper shortages meant profits were large, but almost all went in taxes and subsequent years were difficult. However, with recovery a new generation joined Faber, bringing in writers such as William Golding, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Lowell, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, W. S. Graham, Philip Larkin, P. D. James, Tom Stoppardand John Osborne. These last two, first published in the 1960s, represented the firm's growing commitment to modern drama, reflected in a pre-eminence that remains to the present day.
Faber and Faber has continued to prosper in recent years and is now the last of the great independent
publishinghouses in London. Its commitment to continuity is reflected in the depth of its backlist, whilst the frontlist goes from strength to strength. Established names have been joined by new voices including Kazuo Ishiguro, Peter Carey, Orhan Pamukand Barbara Kingsolver, and its arts lists continue to break new talent in poetry, drama, film and music. Having published the theatrical works of Samuel Beckettfor many years, the company acquired the rights to the remainder of his oeuvre from the publishing house of John Calderin 2007.
Faber's American arm was sold in 1998 to
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where it remains an active imprint focusing on arts, entertainment, media, and popular culture.
Nobel Laureates at Faber
T. S. Eliot
Faber Book of Irish Verse"
Faber Book of Modern American Verse"
Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse"
Faber Book of Twentieth-Century Women's Poetry"
*"Modern Scottish Poetry"
* [http://www.faber.co.uk/ Official website]
* [http://us.macmillan.com/FaberAndFaber.aspx Faber and Faber, Inc.]
*A photograph of the famous Faber poets, Eliot, Auden, MacNeice, Spender, and Hughes, together at a literary function is archived at the U.K.'s National Portrait Gallery as [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/portList.asp?search=sp&sText=x88256 Photograph NPG x88256]
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