The Truth About a Publisher

Stanley Unwin
Date Published
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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.


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.…

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