David & Charles
|Parent company||F+W Media (since 2000 )|
|Founded||1 April 1960|
|Founder||David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Headquarters location||Newton Abbot, Devon|
David & Charles (also styled as David and Charles) is an English publisher.
The company was founded – and is still based – in the market town of Newton Abbot, in Devon, England, on 1 April 1960 by David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield. It first made its name publishing titles on Britain's canals and railways. In Newton Abbot, the company was based in the town's old railway station building and as the business expanded, the company took over the locomotive shed for use as a warehouse.
During the early years, the company became particularly renowned for its classic books on the railways and canals of the United Kingdom. Since then, it has expanded into many new areas; however this heritage has continued with recent books including Memories of Steam. The railway linkage led to the company publishing a full page monthly advert "David & Charles News" on the back cover of the Railway Magazine. This started with a half page on the November 1966 back cover with the full page "News" starting in January 1967. In 1971, the company bought Readers' Union, a group of book clubs catering to enthusiasts of needlecraft, gardening, equestrian pursuits and photography. The company's publishing programme began to reflect these subject areas, moving away from the traditional transport titles for which it had become known.
In 2000, David & Charles was acquired by F+W Publications (now F+W Media), a US publisher of special-interest books and magazines. F+W's audiences include genealogists and family historians, graphic designers, fine artists, writers, crafters, quilters, photographers and woodworkers.
David & Charles also distributes in the UK and Europe Reader's Digest books and the American list Dover Publications. In the period of about 1965-1970 David & Charles had an extensive list of their books published with the American imprint Augustus M. Kelley. These books were usually almost identical to the United Kingdom product but with changed dustjacket and publisher's information (they were not "stiokered", they were printed specifically for America).
Among the early titles were The Canals of the British Isles series, edited and often written by Hadfield – he wrote in full or part, at least five of the volumes. Another series was the A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain (15 volumes); with the first volume written by St John Thomas and which led to the publishing of two companion series: Forgotten Railways and Railway History in Pictures.
The Scottish writer John Thomas wrote a series of books on Scotland railway lines and railway companies, first published in the 1960s and 1970s by the company. John Marshall was another railway historian published by the company.
The company also published travel and topographical works from the 1960s through to the 1990s of which the Islands series and the Light and the Land books by Colin Baxter were the most prominent examples. In the twenty-first century their travel publishing continued with the "Most Amazing Places" series.
The company also specialised in reprints of early technical and travel works and republished several issues of Baedeker's early-20th-century country guides as well some of the Edwardian works by Fred T Jane.
Although its range has expanded enormously since, the company still publishes railway titles such as Branch Line Britain.
The company's postal address is:
- David & Charles
- Brunel House
- Forde Close
- Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 4PU
- Railway Magazine (Tothill Press, London), back cover November 1966 & January 1967 dated issues,
- http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7798567 An example is described in this extract from The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 21 / Issue 04 / October 1970, pp 377-378 retrieved 30th June 2013.
- Anonymous (1981). Good Books Come from Devon, the David & Charles Twenty-First Birthday Book. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 978-0-715-38139-7.
- Boughey, Joseph (1998). Charles Hadfield: Canal Man and More. Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, in association with the Inland Waterways Association. ISBN 978-0-750-91052-1.
- davidandcharles.co.uk, the company's official website