Queen Anne Press

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The Queen Anne Press is a small private press.


It was created in 1951 by Lord Kemsley, proprietor of The Sunday Times, to publish the works of contemporary authors. In 1952, as a wedding present to his then Foreign Editor, Kemsley made Ian Fleming its managing director.[1] The press concentrated on producing finely printed and bound editions, often with small limitations. Lycett states that under Fleming's management, the company was modelled on the Black Sun Press,[2] run by the poet Harry Crosby, nephew of financier J. P. Morgan.

Director Ann Fleming, the socialite wife of Ian Fleming (and a long-time correspondent of Evelyn Waugh[3]), requested support for the press from her literary friends, which included Noël Coward, Nancy Mitford and Stephen Spender. She asked Waugh in particular "please write me ten thousand words on some saint with interesting habits".[4] Waugh proposed to collect a few robust reviews under the title Offensive Matter.[5] This was shelved, however, in favour of an illustrated book The Holy Places, which had previously only been published in periodical form. The book, with engravings by Reynolds Stone (a protégé of John Betjeman, according to Waugh),[6] was ready in time for Christmas, 1952.

In the early years, the press also published works by other highly respected authors including travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor and the essayist Cyril Connolly, whose book The Missing Diplomats, a scoop on the Cambridge Spy Ring,[7] was a popular work, prompting Ann to write "business is flourishing"[8] A possible purchase of the press by Ian and Ann Fleming was considered in 1954-5, but although a price was discussed it appears the sale never came to fruition.[9][1] Fleming remained at the helm until his death in 1964, and the press was subsequently absorbed by the publishing interests of Robert Maxwell, becoming an imprint specialising in sporting books. In 2007 the Queen Anne Press was acquired by Ian Fleming's literary estate.

Queen Anne Press also published the periodical journal The Book Collector (formerly The Book Handbook), whose editorial board consisted of bibliophiles Michael Sadleir, John Hayward, John Carter, Percy Muir and Ian Fleming.[10] Queen Anne Press have also printed the yearly sporting annuals Wisden's Almanack, Rothman's Football Yearbook and Rothman's Snooker Yearbook.

Since 2008[edit]

Inspired by the centenary of Ian Fleming in 2008, the Queen Anne Press published a limited high quality edition of his complete works. During his lifetime Fleming wrote seventeen books: twelve James Bond novels, starting with Casino Royale (1953); two volumes of Bond short stories; a book of travel journalism, Thrilling Cities;[11] a nonfictional account of the diamond trade, The Diamond Smugglers;[12] and the children’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A brand new collection was included, entitled Talk of the Devil; a posthumous volume of rarely seen material, some of it unpublished,[13] the title being taken from a list that Fleming kept in his notebook. The complete works were issued in three different bindings by master bookbinders Sangorski & Sutcliffe;[14] a full leather set with leather onlay designs, quarter vellum bindings in the style of Fleming's only signed limited edition, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963), and in full blue book-cloth, with gilt-titled and decorated leather labels.

Queen Anne Press published in 2011 a deluxe limited editions of Brazilian Adventure[15] and News from Tartary;[16] two works of non-fiction from Ian Fleming's elder brother Peter, the travel writer. The press was working in 2012 on a special centenary edition of the writings of Mervyn Peake, limited to 150 sets, a comprehensive bibliography of Ian Fleming by Jon Gilbert[17] and a fine press edition of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, with illustrations by Sir Peter Blake.

Selected Publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pearson, John. The Life of Ian Fleming, p.188. McGraw-Hill, 1966.
  2. ^ Lycett, Andrew. Ian Fleming, p.43. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995
  3. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.143-4. London: Collins Harvill, 1985
  4. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.147. London: Collins Harvill, 1985
  5. ^ Lycett, Andrew. Ian Fleming, p.227-8. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995
  6. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, p.391. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980
  7. ^ Beyond Bond, p.9-10, published by Eton College Library, 2008
  8. ^ In a letter to Evelyn Waugh. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.162.
  9. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.112. London: Collins Harvill, 1985
  10. ^ Pearson, John. The Life of Ian Fleming (London: Jonathan Cape, 1966) p.264.
  11. ^ Revelling in the Reeperbahn -Nick Smith reviews a new edition of Ian Fleming’s Thrilling Cities, appearing in The Bookdealer, September 2009
  12. ^ From Johannesburg, With Love by Jeremy Duns, writing in The Sunday Times, 7 March 2010
  13. ^ James Bond Author Ian Fleming was electric transport advocate, manuscript reveals, appearing in The Telegraph, 20 September 2008
  14. ^ Shepherds, Sanagorski & Sutcliffe Catalogue (2010)
  15. ^ Henry Sotheran Modern First Editions (250th Anniversary Catalogue, 2011), Item 120.
  16. ^ Henry Sotheran Modern First Editions (250th Anniversary Catalogue, 2011), Item 121.
  17. ^ MI6 Confidential magazine, Issue Number 15, Summer 2012

External links[edit]