Tolkien Collector's Guide
Books on George Allen, GA&U and Unwin Brothers

Books on George Allen, GA&U and Unwin Brothers

May 8, 2010 (edited)

I was hoping for some recommendations on books on the following areas

History of George Allen publishers

I am not really aware of any books that deal with the history of George Allen before Sir Stanley Unwin bought the company, though there is a chapter in George Allen & Unwin: A Remembrancer.

Wellinghall provided the following book

From Swan Sonnenschein to George Allen & Unwin Ltd -
Mumby, F.A. & Frances H.S. Stallybrass (GA&U)

History of George Allen & Unwin publishers

The books that I currently have which deal with this area are:

The Truth about a Publisher - Sir Stanley Unwin (GA&U)
The Publishing Unwins - Philip Unwin (Heinemann)
Fifty Years with Father: A Relationship - David Unwin (GA&U)
George Allen & Unwin: A Remembrancer - Rayner Unwin (Merlin Unwin)

Wellinghall provided the following booklet

Sir Stanley Unwin: The Celebration of his 80th Birthday and Golden Wedding Day; with allusions to 50 years of George Allen & Unwin Ltd under his direction; 40 years on the Executive of The International Publishers Association; and 30 years on The British Council - Booklet

Findegil provided the following pamphlet

Fifty Years of Publishing Books That Matter - Unknown Author (GA&U)

and I would probably also include

The Truth about Publishing - Stanley Unwin (GA&U) though not dealing exclusively with George Allen & Unwin

History of Unwin Brothers printers

The Printing Unwins : a short history of Unwin brothers, the Gresham Press, 1826-1976 - Philip Unwin (GA&U)

Does anyone have any other recommendations?

Andrew
May 8, 2010
There's one by David Severn (David Unwin; Stanley's son, Rayner's brother), about his life with his father. The title escapes me; it's called something like "Life with my father". I'll try to find my copy.

And there's a book called "From Swann Sonneschein to George Allen & Unwin", or something like that, which tells of the early days of the company.

And I picked up a Festschrift (sp?) for Stanley Unwin which has a few nuggets in, but it clearly had a v limited print run.

- wellinghall
May 8, 2010
There's one by David Severn (David Unwin; Stanley's son, Rayner's brother), about his life with his father. The title escapes me; it's called something like "Life with my father". I'll try to find my copy.


I think I mentioned that one "Fifty Years with Father: A Relationship - David Unwin (GA&U)"

But I was not aware of the other two. Thanks
May 8, 2010
Trotter, yes, that was the David Unwin book I was thinking of - sorry I missed that in your original post.

I will try to find the other two, and give you some more details.

- wellinghall
May 8, 2010
(edited)
Hmm. I have only:

The Truth about a Publisher - Sir Stanley Unwin (GA&U)

George Allen & Unwin: A Remembrancer - Rayner Unwin (Merlin Unwin)

The Truth about Publishing - Stanley Unwin (GA&U)

- and Rayner's 'Publishing Tolkien' from Thornton's plus one or two variants in TS publications; though I suspect the gist of all of these is the same, and is taken up in Rayner's Remembrancer, anyway.

Makes me feel rather uneducated; or at least, under-read.
May 8, 2010
Garm,

Do you have any more info on "Rayner's 'Publishing Tolkien' from Thornton's" as I have not heard of this before?

Andrew
May 8, 2010
How much is Tolkien mentioned in these?
May 9, 2010
Thanks all for the information.

Ardamir, not much mention of Tolkien in most of these books, only a couple of sentences apart from Rayner Unwin's George Allen & Unwin - A Remembrancer, which has a lot of information.
May 9, 2010
Anyone know where I could buy a copy of Rayner Unwin's George Allen & Unwin - A Remembrancer? It seems rather hard to come by. I would love to own a copy if anyone knows.
May 9, 2010
(edited)
I'm sure that Remy would not mind me posting extracts from the email that he received on the subject, from Merlin Unwin, publisher of the book.

"Dear Remy
Thanks for your email. Alas, I am unable to help you with this request.
My father’s book was printed in small numbers (I think 300 from memory) and it is rather frustrating that we under-printed slightly. I have looked into the costs of a small reprint and sadly it looks untenable for us – so really your best bet is to get hold of it from a library or possibly via www.abebooks.com. Hope this is of help and sorry we can’t supply you with your own copy.
Yours
Merlin Unwin

Merlin Unwin Books
Palmers House
7 Corve Street
Ludlow
Shropshire SY8 1DB
Tel: 01584 877456
Fax: 01584 877457
www.merlinunwin.co.uk
"

I have seen two copies for sale in the last five years, one on eBay (about three years ago) and one very recently on Abebooks (which was withdrawn from sale as it had been sold privately).

If you have not done so already set up a Want on abebooks using the following information, you will get an email if a copy comes up for sale

George Allen & Unwin: A Remembrancer Rayner Unwin. Merlin Unwin Books. ISBN 1873674376

It is also helpful to see what the book looks like so you can keep an eye out for it in second hand bookshops so I have attached a copy of the cover. The spine is also very distinctive in grey and yellow with "George Allen & Unwin" as the title.

Good luck in finding a copy, it is an excellent book.

It may be worth people who are interested in the book contacting Merlin, I see on his web site that he sells limited leather editions of books and I'd assume that if he produced a limited leather edition of this book there is a market of buyers readily available to buy the book (I'd buy a copy).

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