Francis Meynell

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Sir Francis Meredith Wilfrid Meynell (12 May 1891 – 10 July 1975) was a British poet and printer at The Nonesuch Press.

He was the son of the journalist and publisher Wilfrid Meynell and the poet Alice Meynell, a suffragist and prominent Roman Catholic convert. Francis Meynell was brought in by George Lansbury to be business manager of the Daily Herald in 1913.[1] He was held in the guard room at Hounslow Barracks as a conscientious objector in World War I. Meynell was also a socialist who supported the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War.[2] His fusion of progressive politics and conservative aesthetic tastes, similar to those of William Morris) caused some amusement amongst his friends; the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science notes that "he once set a left-wing propaganda pamphlet in Cloister Old Face and surrounded it with a border of 17th-century fleurons."[3]

He was knighted in 1946. He married Alix Kilroy (1903–1999), a civil servant with the Board of Trade. They worked together during World War II on Utility Design, an austere and functional style. After the war they lived and farmed in a secluded part of Suffolk for many years. Their union was childless.[citation needed]


  • Sir Francis Meynell (1971) My Lives
  • Dame Alix Meynell (1988) Public Servant, Private Woman: An Autobiography


  1. ^ John Shepherd, George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour (2004), p. 146
  2. ^ Katharine Bail Hoskins, Today the Struggle: Literature and Politics in England during the Spanish Civil War. University of Texas Press, 1969, pg. 18.
  3. ^ Dearden, James (1 February 1977). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science: Volume 20 - Nigeria: Libraries in to Oregon State University Library. CRC Press. pp. 91–100. ISBN 978-0-8247-2020-9. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Profile of Sir Francis Meynell
  • [2] Biography at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (subscription required)