The Truth About a Publisher

Stanley Unwin
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ISBN 9780571247820 Format Paperback
Published 11/12/2008 Length 478 pages

About Book

Sir Stanley Unwin's best-known book was The Truth About Publishing. It was first published in 1926 and held sway as a sort of vade-mecum of the trade for decades afterwards. However as Sir Stanley admits in his preface to this book, inspired by Arnold Bennett's Truth About an Author, the book he first wanted to write was The Truth About a Publisher. In the end that had to wait, not being finally published until 1960. As the title suggests this is the autobiographical companion to the earlier work. It is a full and successful story: from the creation of George Allen and Unwin ('my life work' as Sir Stanley describes it) to his crucial work for the Publishers Association, the International Publishers Association and the British Council.

The book is full of fascinating stories of authors, publishers and books in the first half of the twentieth-century.

  • About Stanley Unwin

    Sir Stanley Unwin (1884-1968) was one of the most distinguished publishers of the twentieth-century. He founded George Allen and Unwin Ltd in 1914, the day on which the First World War was declared. The timing might have been inauspicious but the company quickly made its mark publishing such major writers as Bertrand Russell, Sidney Webb, R. H. Tawney and Gandhi.

    In the late 1930s they had two bestsellers by Lancelot Hogben - Mathematics for the Million and Science for the Citizen. Even greater success was to follow with J. R. Tolkien's titles and Thor Heyerdahl's. Sir Stanley's own The Truth about Publishing was published in 1926, and for generations of people it was the authoritative guide.

    Throughout his long career Sir Stanley was a prominent and influential figure in the book trade, active in the Publishers' Association, the International Publishers' Association and the British Council. To his credit he appeared on the Gestapo 'Black List', and, at the age of seventy-six, his belief in the freedom of ideas undimmed, he appeared as a witness for the defence in the Lady Chatterley trial in 1960.

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