Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s publishing house, established in March 1917, is 99 years old this week. The Woolfs set up the Hogarth Press in their own home – part hobby, part creative and artistic enterprise – during the pressures of wartime. They were excited about the possibilities of independent publishing and taught themselves the rudiments of printing and binding so that they produced many of their own works. The Press grew phenomenally from its dining-room origins to a much larger, commercially-minded enterprise, while retaining its coterie, Bloomsbury-based brand. The Woolfs published a wide variety of writers through the Press, including T.S. Eliot, Hope Mirlees, Henry Green, Christopher Isherwood, the colonial novels of William Plomer and Laurens van der Post, and the English translations of Sigmund Freud. The Hogarth Press also championed a wide selection of otherwise popular, middlebrow writers, educational and political tracts, children’s literature, and medical and self-help manuals.
The business archives of the Hogarth Press are held in Special Collections as part of The Archive of British Printing and Publishing, and Reading is hosting the 27th Annual International Virginia Woolf festival in June 2017 to mark the centenary of the founding of the Hogarth Press.
We will also be running a letterpress project to re-print some of the Hogarth Press’s early works as part of the centenary events next year. If you would be interested in being involved in this please send an expression of interest to Dr Nicola Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on the Hogarth Press see: www.modernistarchives.com