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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.


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. The Scientific Press derived much of its income from the weekly magazine The Nursing Mirror. The Gwyers' desire to expand into trade publishing led them to Geoffrey Faber, a fellow of All Souls College, Oxfordmarker, 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 Faber 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, Charles Williams, and Vita Sackville-West. In 1928 Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man appeared, proving so popular that over the next six months it was reprinted eight times. First published anonymously, the author's name, Siegfried Sassoon, was added to the title page for the second impression. The book became Faber's first commercial success, and an enduring literary classic.

Role in publishing

Poetry was 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. Faber published biographies, memoirs, fiction, poetry, political and religious essays, art and architecture monographs, children's books, and launched a pioneering ecology list. It also published T. S. Eliot's literary review, The Criterion. T. S. Eliot rejected two books by George Orwell, A Scullions Tale (the first version of Down and Out) and Animal Farm.

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 Larkinmarker, 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.

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. 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. In 2008 the imprint Faber Finds was set up to make notable out of print books available again using print on demand technology.

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.


The firm's original premises were their Georgian offices at 24 Russell Squaremarker, in Bloomsburymarker, London. Faber later moved to 3 Queen Squaremarker, London, and on 19 January 2009 the firm moved to Bloomsbury House, 74–77 Great Russell Streetmarker, London.

Nobel Laureates at Faber

See also

External links


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