Fun Facts Friday: Hogarth Press

August 10, 2012

1 ) Hogarth Press was created in 1917 by Leonard & Virginia Woolf (whose anniversary happens to be today). This was on Virginia’s 33rd birthday and the couple reached another pivotal decision – to buy a bull dog (eventually named John).

2) The company was established in the Woolf’s dining room, they named it after their home in Richmond, VA.

3 ) The couple was rejected from St. Bride’s school of printing, the reason: they were not trade union apprentices. Not ones to give up easily, the visited the Excelsior Printing Supply Co. where they found machines and material for their hobby. Leonard Woolf described the moment in his autobiography “Nearly all the implements of printing are materially attractive, and we stared through the window at them rather like two hungry children gazing at buns and cakes in a baker shop wind”.

4 ) The owner of the shop sold them a printing machine, type, chases and cases. Instead of a proper apprenticeship he sold them a 16 page pamphlet.

5 ) The business grew from a hobby and Hogarth Press started to use commercial printers instead of the handpress they had.

6 ) Besides Woolf’s works, the press also published works by T.S. Eliot, Clive Bell, E.M. Forester, Roger Fry, Katherine Mansfield, Vita Sackville-West (members of the Bloomsbury group),translations of Chekhov and Dostoevsky and books on Psychoanalysis.

7 ) Virginia has been bounding books since she was 19 (she felt it complimented her appreciation of books), so she had some experience on that part of the business.

8 ) Leonard stated that one of the reasons to open Hogarth Press was to publish books that otherwise would have little chance of getting published.

9 ) Having their own press also allowed the Woolfs (or is it Woolves?) to publish free of censorship.

10) “Hogarth” is now an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group, part of Random House Inc..

Zohar – Man of la Book

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One Comment

  • che August 11, 2012 at 2:28 am

    How interesting. I’m just making my way through Mrs Dalloway so I’m interested in all things Woolf right now.

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