Jane Austen Auction

October 30, 2013 at 7:34 pm (jane austen) (, , , , , )

An update on the James Edward Austen Leigh copy of Memoirs of Jane Austen claims CHAWTON’s JANE AUSTEN’S HOUSE MUSEUM has purchased the book:

edward austen and jane autographs

Their own website, of course, is currently giving “thanks” for donations which helped purchase from singer Kelly Clarkson the Austen Turquoise Ring:

jane austen ring

This item, too, has a family of the Rev. James Austen connection: it once belonged to Edward’s sister (i.e., my Emma’s sister-in-law), Caroline Mary Craven Austen!

Inaugural Swearing In

Former owner of Jane Austen’s Ring, Kelly Clarkson was not allowed to export the ring from the UK.

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A SoundCloud Trial

October 27, 2013 at 11:38 pm (diaries, history, news, research) (, , )

Just a short entry tonight, to say that I’ve put up a short (37 seconds!) snippet of a letter. In 1829 Emma Austen was writing to her sister Fanny Smith, about Edward Austen’s desire for the Waverly series authored by Sir Walter Scott. Emma had met the man who so entralled her husband! In 1815, Emma’s cousin Spencer, Lord Compton married Margaret Maclean Clephane, ward of Walter Scott. Scott called at No. 6 Portland Place.

pen and lettersSoundCloud (though not without its problems today) seems an easy way to record sound, and I have several projects that could go online. Today’s test was intentionally short so I could experiment a bit. I’d love to hear if readers find these little snippets of interest.

Or, I may post a paper or a podcast; SoundCloud limits the amount of material, which isn’t a plus in my books. And I find little consistancy: sometimes the snippet plays; at other times it does not. I don’t get it…

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Is Publishing Perishing?

October 26, 2013 at 5:59 am (books, jasna) (, , , , , )

Leafing thru “drafts”, I found this interesting entry, evidently written in September 2011. It deserves to see the light of day. Take “last evening” and “last winter” with a grain of salt, though!


kemblesLast evening, as a reference for my paper on Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (to be given at JASNA’s AGM in Fort Worth this October), I was on the look-out for a book I knew I had — but wasn’t sure among which “topics” I had put it. It is a 2001 biography of sisters Fanny and Adelaide Kemble (Adelaide was an opera singer; Fanny followed in family footsteps by acting). Thanks to my also owning Fanny Kemble’s memoir about her time in the US on a southern plantation, the book was on the bottom shelf, with other “American” biographies. It took a while to find, because I just couldn’t understand why it wasn’t with other MUSIC books?!

But the search was a blessing in disguise. I don’t have a lot, lot, lot of books (though my mother would claim otherwise!), but there are a good handful of shelving units, in a couple rooms, plus those currently being perused and therefore in a pile in the bedroom, the living room. Plus some library books stacked on the fireplace mantel.

But I get off the subject…., which is not collecting books per se, but reminding myself about a few books I knew I wanted at one time — but didn’t quite recall picking up (usually used books, sometimes in shops, sometimes online). A for instance, in a frenzy to read more about the Spencers (Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire was born a Spencer) I got books of letters, biography, and recall The House (about Chatsworth; nice photos and some interesting manuscript extracts) being taken out of the library. But when did I purchase the book? from where? It’s on the shelf….

Another book, No Voice from the Hall, I plucked off the shelf to see if there might be ANYTHING about Erle Stoke Park (Wilts). No; but instead I did come across mentions — and a photo! — of Richings Park (also spelled: Ritchings). This was the Buckinghamshire estate of John Sullivan — father to dear Georgiana Vere Gosling.

Obviously, I *adore* books – travel, history, biography, letters, diaries are among my top choices. On the second-hand market I look for dust jackets almost always; I keep them in pristine condition; and, yes, have a bit of a system for storing them; and, yes, need more bookshelf space!

 No, not my home library! Monroe Street Books, in Middlebury, Vermont

And, finally, to the crux of my post: As a book-lover, I’ve only ever thought of a world filled with books. There on the shelf; read them any time; add to them; leaf-thru-them. In the end, though, they were always there. Until lately.

Now, I would be the first to admit that I LOVE digitized books. How else can you find some totally obscure book that only two libraries in the world have, and there it is online! (I am less enthralled with missing pages or bad scans; not super-crazy about plain text books either, although I used to provide typescripts for A Celebration of Women Writers).

But, as someone who has given up a lot and gone into debt while researching this project, I find myself asking: Can money be made in publishing? My problem is, with a full-time job I have little time to write or research, but am years away from producing anything substantial — and even then (1) will I find a publisher and/or agent, (2) will it sell, (3) will I make enough to clear the debts incurred?

Last winter at Monroe Street Books, I picked up a copy of a biography of Elizabeth von Arnim (The Enchanted April and Elizabeth and her German Garden are two of her best known publications). She could get a book through press to public in a matter of months. Doesn’t happen that way any more.

I wish readers would share their thoughts about the dissemination of research – and making ends meet.

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More “Sense & Sensibility: The Musical”

October 25, 2013 at 3:17 am (books, entertainment, jane austen, jasna) (, , , )

After attending the Jane Austen Society of North America’s AGM and getting in my ‘goodie bag’ the CD of SENSE & SENSIBILITY: THE MUSICAL, I’ve periodically listened to the score – although the updated version on the website has made me more of a fan.

With nothing on TV last night, I turned for the second time in a week to the files I saved from their website. And I looked to see if the score was still online. Amazingly, I found VIDEO of the play’s WORLD PREMIERE! Simply Fabulous seeing the actors amid sets and in costume!! Lucky Denver audiences… Fascinating to hear the evolution of this musical.



Official website: http://senseandsensibilitymusical.com/

more videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLexX4WflzockEHKysoruvoA-22ovUb1bZ&feature=view_all

sample the score at SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/#sense-7

my prior post: https://smithandgosling.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/sense-sensibility-the-musical/

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FABULOUS (Aquarius) Horoscrope

October 24, 2013 at 10:50 am (books, entertainment) (, , )

As a reader of 7 Days here in Vermont, I often turn to the HOROSCOPE page. Imagine my laughter when I spotted this one yesterday at lunch:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In 2008, writer Andrew Kessler hung out with scientists at NASA’s mission control as they looked for water on the planet Mars. Three years later, he published a book about his experiences, Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission. To promote sales, he opened a new bookstore that was filled with copies of just one book: his own. I suggest that you come up with a comparable plan to promote your own product, service, brand or personality. The time is right to summon extra chutzpah as you expand your scope.


Forgot to mention! For those coming across the blog, especially: Mary and myself have birthdays in February (ie, under the starsign Aquarius). And I swear Mr Darcy is an Aquarian too!

(I thought I posted on this subject, but can’t put my finger on it at present. I remember asking people what they thought Austen’s characters were for horoscope signs after getting of description of what an aquarian’s traits were – and immediately thought of Darcy. Will have to look more closely.)

UPDATE: ah-ha! I had posted it at Jane Austen in Vermont!

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11,000 Pounds Buys Jane Austen Collectable

October 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm (jane austen, people) (, , , )

edward austen and jane autographs

Of special concern for Two Teens in the Time of Austen: a book that went up for auction at Gorringes today:

Jane Austen, “An autograph manuscript fragment, comprising four lines, attached to another leaf bearing authentication, in turn attached to a letter from her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, written on paper bearing watermark date 1868, at Bray Vicarage, February 7, 1870, presenting the fragment to Rev. G. C. Berkeley”.

Estimate before the sale: £2,000-3,000. As the hammer dropped, the cost closed at £11,000!!

Click on the photo for full auction details and more photos.

The note, letter, and authentication are attached to a copy of Edward’s book, A Memoir of Jane Austen.

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More “Fashionable World,” 1801

October 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm (books, diaries, entertainment, fashion, history, people, research) (, , , , , , , , )

1801 turns out to be an unusually RICH year for finding the Smiths & Goslings in the newspapers.

The “London Season” was in full-swing!

And my ladies – Eliza Gosling (Mary’s mother, the former Eliza Cunliffe), Mary Smith (Mary’s Aunt and Emma’s great-aunt; the former Mary Cunliffe, now Mrs Drummond Smith), were giving balls and routs; my gentlemen – William Gosling (Mary’s father), Drummond Smith (Emma’s great-uncle), were giving dinners.

fashionable world1

Quick IDs to some others:

  • Alexander Davison had married William Gosling’s sister, Harriet.
  • The Francis Goslings lived in Bloomsbury Square.
  • Lady Cunliffe was the widowed mother of Eliza Gosling and Mary Smith.
  • Lord Walsingham was a de Grey relation of the future (2nd wife) Mrs William Gosling.
  • Mrs Thomas Smith (later of Bersted Lodge) was Emma’s great-aunt, the former Susannah Mackworth Praed.
  • Mrs Gregg of Bedford Square was Mary’s “Aunt Gregg,” sister of William Gosling.
  • Lady Frances Compton was the unmarried sister of Lord Northampton, called “Aunt Frances” by the Smiths of Suttons siblings.

* * *

{newspaper} The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 6 Feb 1801

Mrs. Drummond Smith’s parties, during the fashionable season, will be given in the same stile they were last year.

Mrs. Gosling had a large party of fashionable visitants at her house a few days ago in Portland-place.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 14 Feb 1801

Mr. and Mrs. Davison have returned to town for the residue of the winter. Mrs. Davison’s fashionable parties are expected to commence in the course of a fortnight.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 18 Feb 1801

among the attendees at the Marchioness of Salisbury’s Rout, among Mistresses: Drummond Smith


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 24 Feb 1801

Mrs. Drummond Smith’s parties commence early in next month, at her magnificent house in Piccadilly.”


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 27 Feb 1801

among “near five hundred personages of distinction”: Messrs. – Drummond Smith…Mistresses – Drummond Smith

… “Mrs. Gosling’s Rout on Monday night, in Bloomsbury-square, was very respectably attended.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 2 Mar 1801



Mrs. Drummond Smith’s Rout, Piccadilly


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 4 Mar 1801

at Mrs. Vaughan’s Rout (Monday evening, Manchester-square) “attended by upwards of three hundred personages of distinction”: both Drummond and Mrs Drummond Smith


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 6 Mar 1801

Mrs. Drummond Smith will entertain a small party of friends, this evening, at her elegant house in Piccadilly.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 14 Mar 1801

at the Countess of Mansfield’s Rout (her “first assembly since her marriage”) {the house a “noble and spacious family mansion, in the centre of Portland-place; the house having previously undergone improvements in the first style of elegance”} “near 500” attend: among them Lady Cunliffe, Lord Walsingham; also Lady Wingfield, Lady Sey and Sele [sic], Mistress Drummond Smith, Mistress Fremantle.

same issue: “Mrs. Drummond Smith’s rout, last night, was attended by a very numerous party of distinguished friends.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 25 Mar 1801

notice is given of Mrs Methuen’s rout; among the “upwards of three hundred personnages of fashion” was Mrs William Gosling and Mrs Drummond Smith. Mr C. Smith may be Charles (“Papa”). Among the “Ladies” are Lady Cunliffe and Lady Frances Compton. At the top of the guest list: The Prince of Orange.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 1 April 1801

Mrs. Davison had a private ball on Friday evening in St. James’s-square, which commenced at ten o’clock, and broke up at one.


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 6 April 1801



Mr Gosling’s Grand Dinner, Portland Place


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 13 Apr 1801



Mr. Gosling’s grand Dinner, Portland-place

Mrs. Gosling’s Rout, Portland-place


Mr. Cure’s grand Dinner, Great George-street.

Mr. Drummond Smith’s Dinner, Piccadilly.


Mrs. Thomas Smith’s Rout, New Norfolk-street.


Mrs. Gosling’s Rout.


 The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 20 Apr 1801


This evening.

Mrs. Thomas Smith’s Rout, New Norfolk-street


Mrs. Gosling’s Rout, Portland-place


Mr. Davidson’s Grand Dinner, St. James’s-square


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 27 Apr 1801


This evening.

[note Lady Syke’s Rout, Audley-sq]

Mrs. Gosling’s Rout, Bloomsbury-square

Tuesday – Mrs. Gregg’s Rout, Bedford-square


The Morning Post & Gazetteer, 5 May 1801

among the LONG list of attendees at the Duchess of Chandos’ Ball: Mrs W. Gosling, Mrs Drummond Smith

* * *

Read about The Beau Monde, in the book
by Hannah Greig

beau monde

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Mystery of Miss Burton

October 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm (books, diaries, history, people, research) (, , , , , , )

The earliest diary for Mary Gosling concerns an 1814 trip to Oxford — Mary was visiting her brothers, in college!

She put her name in this one diary only! Without Mary Gosling’s act of possession, learning her identity would have been that much harder.

I’m writing this post in hopes of anyone with any information on its topic will contact me!

The morning after the arrival of the Goslings in Oxford, they are “greeted” by MISS BURTON. Here is what Mary says of her during the trip (the italics are mine):

  • we were visited by Miss Burton who invited us to come immediately after breakfast to her house in Christ Church [Mary’s brother Robert had rooms in the Peckwater Quad]
  • we dined with Dr and Miss Burton with a party of 17
  • invited by William to breakfast in his room [his college was Brasenose]… Dr and Miss Burton partook of it
  • in a four oared boat to Nuneham…Miss Burton’s butler steered us. Mama Dr. and Miss Burton were in the open carriage
  • after having breakfasted Dr and Miss Burton, Mama, Mrs Sandoz, my Sister and myself went in the open carriage to see Bleinheim
  • after dinner we walked to Dr Burton’s and having drank tea, returned home at 1/2 past 9
  • we dined again at Dr Burton’s with a party of ten.

Who was Miss Burton? Dr. Burton, I presume to have been Dr. James Burton, canon of Christ Church.

CK SharpeOne of the most thrilling finds is LETTERS FROM AND TO CHARLES KIRKPATRICK SHARPE – for it contains letters dating as early as 1804, from or to Sharpe while at Oxford!

But IS this a bit of a red herring??? I’m just not sure…

Let’s look at the fifteen mentions of BURTON in this book, for instance:

  • in a letter dated 31 August 1804 from K.M.K. Tarpley to Sharpe: “I am not at all surprised at the reception you met with from the fickle Rachel, but very much at your expression of fair daughter.”

The editor of this 1888 compilation, Alexander Allardyce, includes a footnote to RACHEL: “Miss Burton. See post, p. 214 note.”

  • Page 214 is another letter from Tarpley to Sharpe, dated Christ Church, Oxford, 20 October 1804. “College is very full this term, and there are many new-comers. Lygon was in Oxford last night on his way to town: he intends shortly taking up his abode here, for he and Miss Burton cannot long live without each other. The brown Jack has not yet enlivened the quadrangle with her shining countenance, but I hear that she and the little Doctor are coming soon. Lemon has succeeded to Lygon’s room…”

Lygon is ID’ed as William Beauchamp Lygon, 2nd Earl Beauchamp (1782-1823); died unmarried.

The two footnotes ID Miss Burton as “Miss Rachel Burton.” and the little Doctor as “Dr James Burton, chaplain in ordinary to the king, canon of Christ Church, &c., died June 30, 1825, leaving two daughters and an unmarried sister residing in Oxford, who is the Rachel Burton of the correspondence, and is sometimes denominated ‘Jack.’ ‘She was a great joke in Oxford.'” [no indication where this last quote is from.]

  • Page 242, draft letter from Sharpe to H. Wellesley, 1805: “Dear W. — Do not imagine this to be a billet-doux from Miss Burton, else your disappointment may defeat the purpose of my letter — far less believe me apt, like that engaging creature, to pester mine acquaintance with such trash. The truth is, I have a favour to ask of you…”
  • Page 247, in a burlesque petition draft by Sharpe (1805): “He had once a mind to be sprightly, and wrote an epistle in verse to one Rachel Burton, whom he calls his Chloe. He directed it to Kloe….”
  • Page 259, in a P.S. from William FitzGerald, (1806): “Have you read Lyttleton’s advertisement, and Lygon’s reply? I know not which to say — the insolence and grossness of the one, and the pusillanimity of the other — shock me. But I congratulate you and Miss Burton on Lygon’s success…”
  • Page 274, Earl Gower to Sharpe, 22 August 1806: “Have you heard of Lygon’s intended marriage with Miss Dashwood — at least so says Macdonald. Poor Jack!”
  • Page 87 (in volume 2), Impey to Sharpe, 23 August 1813: “My mother desires me to return you her best thanks for the portrait enclosed in your letter. She is much struck with the likeness, and ravie by the execution altogether, and intends to give it as distinguished a place among her cabinet of curiosities as Rachel Burton did the picture of Lygon, with Wrottesley’s poetry at the foot of it.”

The footnotes say the marriage with Miss Dashwood never took place, and ID’s Jack as “Miss Rachel Burton.”

  • Page 297, Wellesley to Sharpe, 14 December 1806: “I am much obliged to you for your poetical offering, and would have sent to you responsive strains of sorrow from Paul the younger, if the time had served my inclination. But sooner shall a Chinese mandarin confess himself inferior to a baron of England, sooner shall the lovely J. Burton possess the odour of a civet, than any inmate of Ch. Ch. shall dare to mount Pegasus when collections are in petto.”
  • Page 345, Earl Gower to Sharpe, 6 July 1808: “George Vernon has just given up a scheme… of paying a visit to Sicily this summer. He has what they call thought better of it. I believe he is now at Oxford, enjoying, I suppose, the society of your friend, Miss R. Burton, whom I saw in London this year in high beauty and good condition.”
  • Page 375, Earl Gower to Sharpe, 9 May 1809: “Is Miss Burton at Oxford? I suppose so, as I have not seen or heard anything of her in London.”
  • Page 387, Marquess of Worcester to Sharpe, October 1809: “Miss Burton is in full force canvassing everybody for L:d Grenville, and taking farther peregrinations than ever.—-“
  • Page 439, Earl Gower to Sharpe, 22 February 1811: “Have you gone to Scotland, or fallen in love with Miss Burton, or thrown yourself into the Thames or into the fire, or been kidnapped, or transported, or pressed, or what?”
  • Page 446, E.B. Impey to Sharpe, 18 March 1811: “As for the literary meteor who is now performing his perielion in your learned hemisphere, I have nothing to do but hide my diminished beams, and congratulate myself on being beyond the scope of his fiery tail, which he seems to whisk about with such wonderful volubility that I would have Miss Burton beware of the laws of gravitation, and vigilantly guard her center of attraction.”
  • Page 478, Sharpe to Lord Gower, end October 1811: “There certainly never was more villanous doggerel, excepting, perhaps, Lygon’s melodious epistle to Miss Burton, or Copplestone’s Ode for the late Oxford Installation.”
  • Page 525, Rev. J.J. Conybeare to Sharpe, January 1812: “News I have no time to detail at present, but if you be anxious for any, and will give me a line to say as much, you shall have all I can gather next week, either from London, where nobody goes to bed without a patent maul-proof nightcap and anti-cut-throat collar, or from this place, where Rachel Burton has just got a prize of £500 in the lottery.”

* * *

So, from this fairly authoritative source, comes the idea that Miss Rachel Burton, AKA “Jack”, was the sister of Dr Burton. For the longest time that was the supposition I worked with. Until I *finally* found a family pedigree. Dr. Burton, who indeed had two living daughters Rachel and Mary-Anne (evidently, the one was ‘Jack’ and the other ‘Tom’), but his three sisters were named Anne, Elizabeth-Felicia, Sibilla. Anne died in June 1803. And Mary-Anne married in November 1814. Elizabeth-Felicia was born in 1750; Sibilla in 1752 — so Mary’s “Miss Burton” if a sister would have been the elder. BUT: if a Burton daughter which was the elder, Rachel or Mary-Anne??

So I really felt back to square one – sister?? daughter?? Who was Mary’s ‘MISS BURTON’?

Now, I’m wondering if later writers/editors were mixing up two Miss Burtons. Even Sharpe’s ladies: while “Jack” may very well indicate Rachel Burton (presumably born in the 1780s), was there a designation that separated Miss R. Burton (Rachel) from Miss Burton (Elizabeth-Felicia)?? For instance, in the Sharpe mention on page 214 of Miss Burton: What if she was the AUNT of “brown Jack,” signifying both ladies and their relative (Dr. Burton) in two neighboring sentences!?!

A slight mis-attribution is making sense to me at the moment.

Anyone with some tales to tell about any of the Burtons are welcome to email me or leave a comment.

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The Fashionable World

October 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm (british royalty, estates, history, london's landscape, news, people, research) (, , , , , , , )

Today, I came across this mention of a glittering party at truly sumptuous-sounding residence, the home of Sir Drummond and Lady Smith:


     Decidedly is the residence of the above fashionable Lady, on the Terrace, in Piccadilly, one of the most elegant mansions in the metropolis. There are four drawing-rooms of ample dimensions on each floor, superbly furnished, enriched with sculpture, &c. On Tuesday evening the house was opened with singular eclat; the company exceeded 500 persons. In the great gallery a band of chosen musicians were stationed during the night; the latter was illuminated by radiant arches and festoons of variegated lamps; glasses of wonderful magnitude and beauty, some of them exceeding 10 feet in height, were placed in appropriate situations to reflect every object (particularly the Grecian chandeliers) ad infinitum.

The write-up was published in The Morning Post on 18 May 1810.

It has been suggested, in a history of the Comptons, that the turnpike played a role in the marriage of Mamma and Papa Smith: Drummond Smith “built No. 144 Piccadilly, next to his brother’s house, and just beyond the two houses was the turnpike gate which was the entrance to London. One night he was helped home by a Mr. Charles Smith, no relation, … who [later] married Augusta, daughter of Joshua Smith.”

Just had to find a map, showing the probable location (for the area was bombed in World War II and the building does not exist). 144-145 Piccadilly were located between (present-day) Apsley House and Hamilton Place. This is a map from 1795.


I’ve written before about the residence of Drummond’s brother Sir John and Lady Smith-Burges, at 145 Piccadilly; Queen Elizabeth lived there as a child. You can find a superb exterior shot, and some interiors of the Royal Residence at English Heritage.


Strolling through some other newspaper mentions, I am intrigued to begin copying some of these DE-LIGHT-FUL writings under the heading of “The Fashionable World“. So announcing two *new* items you’ll see come on the blog: Under the Smith & Gosling Timeline I’ll post some of these (typically one or two lines) short newspaper mentions of the family. And on its own, I’ll post some – with a desire to do all – elements of early “Fashionable World” mentions (say, 1800-1810 or so).

Useful links:

lady drummond smith3

second wife of Sir Drummond Smith, bart
née Elizabeth Monckton,
daughter of the 2nd Viscount Galway;
widow of Sir Francis Sykes, bart, of Basildon

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Publishing Lives – BBC Radio4

October 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm (books, entertainment, jane austen) (, , , , , , )

john murray

BBC Radio4’s recent program “Publishing Lives” has ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT to listen. Five parts, each 15-minute episode features a different publisher:

  • John Murray – publisher of Byron and Austen, among so many others
  • Allan Lane – founder of the Penguin Publishing’s paperback empire, including Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • Harold Macmillan – the “publishing Prime Minister,” who may have foreseen the “ebook”!
  • George Weidenfeld – post-World War II émigrés, Nigel Nicolson, Lady Antonia Fraser, and Lolita
  • Geoffrey Faber – bored with beer– how about a book, perhaps “of Practical Cats”?

Blog “On Publishing Lives” – your starting point

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