Faber and Faber


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 Inc., formerly the American branch of the London company, was sold in 1998 to the Holtzbrinck company Farrar, Straus and Giroux, now operated as part of the Macmillan group.

Origins

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 Reid and 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

Poetry was always to be a prime element in the Faber list and under T. S. Eliot's aegis W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Louis MacNeice soon joined Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wyndham Lewis, John Gould Fletcher, Roy Campbell, James Joyce and Walter de la Mare.

Under Geoffrey Faber's chairmanship the board in 1929 included T. S. Eliot, Richard de la Mare, Charles Stewart and 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, art and architecture monographs, children's books, and a pioneering ecology list 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".

In the 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 Stoppard and 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 today

Faber and Faber has continued to prosper in recent years and is now the last of the great independent publishing houses 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 Pamuk and Barbara Kingsolver, and its arts lists continue to break new talent in poetry, drama, film and music. Having published the theatrical works of Samuel Beckett for many years, the company acquired the rights to the remainder of his oeuvre from the publishing house of John Calder in 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

* 1948 T. S. Eliot
* 1960 Saint-John Perse
* 1969 Samuel Beckett
* 1980 Czeslaw Milosz
* 1983 William Golding
* 1992 Derek Walcott
* 1995 Seamus Heaney
* 1996 Wislawa Szymborska
* 1999 Günter Grass
* 2005 Harold Pinter
* 2006 Orhan Pamuk

ee also

*"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"

External links

* [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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