F the pages and the cripplingly heavy taxation on any
company profits There is a photo taken from the roof of Faber s building of a hole in the road profits There is a photo taken from the roof of Faber s building of a hole in the road in which an unexploded bomb is sitting Staff would be stationed on the roof uring nights of the Blitz watching for bombs Thankfully the buildings in Russell Suare were spared from irect hits although they had to be reinforced to withstand the shock of bomb blasts Faber is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and has been trailblazing with authors such as Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath William Golding Lawrence Durrell Seamus Heaney Kazuo Ishiruro Peter Carey Harold
PINTER AND PHILIP LARKIN THE EDITORSand Philip Larkin The editors irectors emerge as a group with a great sense of fun and love for what they were Activities Of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Toward The Branch Davidia doing My favourite letter was written by airector to his London Club in the early 1960s It is the most humble and grovelling of letters following an incident where other members had complained about his guest the poet Thom Gunn It seems that Gunn had just returned from several months in California and came to the club Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes Vol 2 Of 3 dressed in a fringed leather jacket and cowboy boots I had certain fears about what kind of book this would be It s a history of Faber and Faber as filtered through a selection of letters from the firm s archive The letters have been compiled and edited by the grandson of the firm s founder Uh oh A company wonk s in charge There s also the enduring notion that Faber was founded by and run on behalf of old farts with no interest in the world beyond Oxford and London a nursing home rather than a publishing houseI m glad to say this wasn t the case I love the littleetails and facts that illuminate the bigger picture At first the firm was best known for its nursing guides and was originally called Faber and Gwyer the other Faber never actually existed but the name had a loftier ring to it and so Faber and Faber was born The firm turned Die V Gel Vol 2 down Ted Hughes first book because a condescending editor assumed he was an American When Hughes pointed out he was in fact English an acceptance swiftly followed Lord of the Flies was originally called Strangers from Within the firm s reader Polly Perkinsismissed it as rubbish and Library Of The Theological Seminary dull Faber stalwart John Carey was offered his first contract for a book on Dickens by an enthusiastic editor Behind his back another editor called Carey perceptive but arrogant and impatient Toby Faber mostly stays in the background making the odd sardonic comment the best of them all at Faber s expense You can almost see his eyes rolling at TS Eliot for rejecting Animal Farm thereby also costing the firm the then unwritten 1984 Faber also points out the firm has only employed two femaleirectors in its history and singles out the 80s as an era of rampant chauvinism at the firmOne surprise is the sheer amount of humour Early promotional material portrayed the firm as Faberdum and Faberdee A mock advert for the poetry list was headed Sissy An acceptance letter sent to John Lloyd the co creator of Spitting Image calls his work in the worst possible taste low brow filth yet finishes WE WOULD LOVE TO PUBLISH THE BOOK I admit that I Board Of Trade Stock Exchange And Bankers Directory 1895 6 didn t find the book s first 200 pages worthwhile Endless letter about who owns what number of shares and what a bally good time was had at All Souls are perhaps not of general interest to most readers But when editor Charles Monteith arrives in the mid 50s the fireworks start I should add my respect for Monteith s abilities already high soared after I finished this book How many editors today read the kind of magazine that lasts only 7 issues and offer one of its contributors a contract as heid with John McGahern Or take the trouble to write to a young Belfast schoolteacher off the back of three poems he Moli Re d published in the New Statesman as heid with Seamus HeaneyFaber s material is a little thin from the 80s onwards coincidentally the same time the firm pulled itself out of the stagnant funk it had spent the 70s in Largely this is Consecrated Talents due to the efforts of editor Robert McCrum who seems toeserve the credit Faber heaps upon him Even if McCrum tells every waiter the same thingI wish there been between McCrum and this young writing student named Kazuo Ishiguro and likewise with Garrison Keillor and Lorrie Moore Oddly there s nothing from the other Americans Faber was publishing around the time Jayne Anne Phillips Stuart Dybek Denis JohnsonNot the eual of Diana Athill s classic Stet but interesting nevertheless. Y's Death of a Naturalist Philip Larkin's reluctance to attend poetry readings 'people's imaginary picture of you is always so much flattering than the reality' and the iscovery of Kazuo Ishiguro The result is both a vibrant history and a hymn to the role of literature in all our lives'Ingeniously compiled one of the pleasures of this book is reading the early correspondences with writers who later became famous The very picture of old school publishing which with its lunches and advances and cranky old book lined offices is so cheerfully celebrated in this charming and uirky history' Evening Standard. .
An entertaining trawl through the archives
OF ONE OF BRITAIN MOSTone of Britain s most publishers The material is engaging but it takes skill to weave a coherent through it all Enlivened by humorous asides with some moving passages particularly a coherent thread through it all Enlivened by humorous asides with some moving passages particularly to the firm s wartime travails The reader gets a real sense of Britain s changing cultural landscape Highly recommended A very interesting history of the Faber and Faber publishing house told through letters both internal and to authors from its conception when Geoffrey Faber moved into publishing to the early 1990s The small asides by Toby Faber provide much needed context on occasion and it is always fascinating to consider ecisions with the benefit of hindsight I evoured this in less than a Conquests Of Our Holy Faith day and what an absolute joy it was This speaksirectly to my academicresearch interests and included plenty of aha moments that left me smiling with the understanding of what incredibly important relationship was coming into being with the flourish of a pen A must for readers interested in publishing historyModernism of course this goes beyond but if you are an Eliot fan this correspondence is priceless This is a history of the The Military Chaplains Review distinguished English publishing house mostly as told through correspondence and journal entries There are some good nuggets here Philip Larkin pushing without success for Barbara Pym a brutal first estimation of Lord of the Flies and an interesting view of TS Eliot who labored as a Faber Faber editor even while composing his monumental poetry and plays But much of the story here isevoted to the inner machinations of the company itself the back and forth between Faber family members shareholders managers and editors The author a family member himself is of course highly interested in all this but it wears on the average reader after a while I found myself skipping through many many pages to get to the good stuff Three and a half This is a book about Faber and Faber published by Faber and Faber and written by Toby Faber In some imagined future of my 20 year old self I finished my English The New Church Hymnal For Churches And Mission Schools degree worked in book publishing in New Zealand for a couple of years then moved to London and landed a job at Faber and FaberThis I suppose was largely because my literary hero T S Eliot spent most of his working life there and the idea I think was to follow Eliot in both his vocations as a poet and as a publisherNot to mention the fact that Faber s ff wallpaper was all over the majority of the set texts in my modern poetry papers It was hard to missWell in the event the couple of years in publishing in New Zealand turned into 20 so far and so this book is probably about as close as I m going to get to the inner workings of that illustrious house and I m sure I m not the onlyreamer for whom that s trueThe Eliot fan isn t Baby Land disappointed by the book and those were my favourite parts though having some knowledge of the biz helped sustain interest as wellA nice insight into a publishing house that is uiteifferent to most Still family owned and still synonymous with uality literature after nearly 100 years I M Or Similia Similibus Curantur Vol 1 Of 2 did enjoy this collection of letters and sundries from the Faber archive It gave a great insight to the company characters and general business of Faber up to the late 60s Some correspondence was laugh out loud funny The choices and editing was wellone The later part if the book covering the period to 1990 was thinner and gave less I sought into that period I The Latter Day Saints Millennial Star Vol 67 dare say that as time went on the memos became less entertaining to the reader as Fabers fortunes changed and we get nearer to modern times and ways of working The book ends suddenly in 1990 and I suspect times are too recent to be shared in public in the same way This is very entertaining but seems like a missed opportunity Faber is a fascinating business and there s a very good history to be written of it This isn t it It s aiscursive collection of snippets of letters minutes and other The Shop Of Dreams documents relating to the company and its history These are well written and fun to read but it s all a bit local and gossipy A good read but frustrating This book seems a little like it missed the mark and I was left wanting by it While the snippets of letters and other such oddities were interesting for some of the book I think it would have benefitted enormously from some editing as well as furtheriscourse from outside of the family ownership regarding the circumstances of the company While I found. Published to celebrate Faber's 90th anniversary this is the story of one of the world's greatest publishing houses a Introits delight for all readers who are curious about the business of writing'The creation story of Faber is a strikingrama Celebrating its 90th birthday this year Faber boasts a phenomenal roster of successes What stays in the mind are some brilliant vignettes' Sunday Times The names of T S Eliot William Golding Ted Hughes Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney are synonymous with the publishing house Faber Faber founded in Bloomsbury in 1929 But behind these stellar literary talents was a tiny firm. Out some fascinating stuff like Eliot being a member of board I am probably the very last to that party but still found it very probably the very last that party but still found it very I thought this book simply lacked in a lot of other respects and I wanted further commentary from sources outside those so closely involved What an unlikely gem of a book As a book lover I know that I am likely to be interested in publishing but this must rank as a uniue subject being both an in epth history of a company from foundation to fortune as well as an insight into some publishing legends It is a selection of
Letters Memos Catalogues And Other Archive Material Patched Together Intomemos catalogues and other archive material patched together into series of bite sized chunks to tell a riveting storyIt would be fair to call this a trivia lovers handbook too as it contains enough little snippets to satisfy the most avid pub uiz genius There are insights and humour as well as a reminder to every writer that there is an element of luck in getting your work into printWe begin with a laugh If you want to make a small fortune out of publishing start off with a large one Joking aside the first few years of what was then Faber and Gwyer were hard Most income came from publishing magazines such as The Nursing Mirror which allowed the fledgling company to make losses on the books it publishedIn an industry that today is comprised of so many amalgamated names clustered into the ownership of a mighty few Faber and Faber stands alone in its small time independence It is still a company that is partly owned by its founding family and I loved iscovering that the suggestion that there were multiple Fabers involved was made up There was only one Faber Geoffrey and the second was added to the name simply to lend kudos The Gwyer family were bought out with considerable The Practitioner Vol 13 difficulty and cost allowing the firm to pursue its own literary path Throughout its 90 year history Faber and Faber was guided by a series ofistinguished and The Divine Pilot dedicated men most notably in its early years by the poet and writer T S Eliot It wasown to his influence that Faber became the renowned publisher of poetry that it is today More importantly it was the annual revenue generated from his book Old Possum s Book of Practical Cats on which the musical Cats was based and which continues to earn royalties from the show that has kept the company afloat when others were being bought up and absorbed While Faber and Faber The Untold story is rich in its historical narrative its cabinet of literary curiosities brings the most satisfaction These include both success and failureIn 1944 T S Eliot wrote to George Orwell complimenting him on Animal Farm but at the same time rejecting it because it was being rude about Britain s Soviet allies It was unlikely that post war events could have been seen by all but by rejecting this book Eliot was also turning Songs And Stories down the unwritten 1984 The novel which was to become Lord of the Flies by William Golding was almost consigned to the literary scrap heap It had been read and the reviewer had scribbled Rubbish Dull Pointless Reject on the front cover Charles Monteith a new young editor at Faber was short of something to read on the train to Oxford and snatched the manuscript from the top of the slush pile thatay Had he not The Old English Gentleman Vol 1 Of 3 done so the world might never have seen Golding s book and he might never have gone on the win the Nobel Prize for literature This book is full of similar stories the famous come and go and authors are lost or gained Faber Faber s journey through the twentieth century overlapped with numerous banned books James Joyce s Ulysses and D H Lawrence s Lady Chatterley s Lover to name but two There was an ongoingialogue with Joyce about the publication of his books and sensitivity about what could be published at the time of the Lady Chatterley court case In a letter from Charles Monteith to the writer John McGahern in 1962 he writes We have no objection in principle to printing the word fucking which is used occasionally in the Lyrics Of The Umpqua dialogue and Ion t think that nowadays there would be any legal risk in La Poesia Barbara Nei Secoli Xv E Xvi doing so in this country But he goes on the warn the author that the use of the word will impair sales in the Provinces and to libraries and is likely to lead to a complete ban on the book in the Irish RepublicNot only was Faber s history linked to literary events but also to the everyday in wartime London They thrived and prospered in wartime when it seems everyone was keen to readespite the shortage of paper the gradual thinning That had to battle the Great Depression wartime paper shortages and ramatic financial crises to retain its independence This intimate history of Faber Faber weaves together the most entertaining moving and surprising letters iaries and materials from the archive to reveal the untold stories behind some of the greatest literature of the twentieth century Highlights include Eliot's magnificent reading reports Samuel Beckett on swearing and censorship the publication of Finnegans Wake the rejection of George Orwell's Animal Farm P D James on tasting her first avocado the first reader's response to Heane.