Jon Wynne-Tyson

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Jon Wynne-Tyson
Born(1924-07-06)6 July 1924
Died26 March 2020(2020-03-26) (aged 95)
OccupationActivist, publisher, writer

Jon Wynne-Tyson (6 July 1924 – 26 March 2020) was an English author, publisher,[1][2] Quaker, activist and pacifist who founded Centaur Press in 1954.[3] He ran Centaur Press from his home in Sussex and was a distinguished independent publisher.[2][4] He authored books on animal rights and vegetarianism.[1] He had two children.[5]

Life and writings[edit]

Wynne-Tyson was born in Hampshire, England in 1924. His mother was Esmé Wynne-Tyson, a former child actress and writer,[6] and his father was Linden Charles Tyson, an officer in the Royal Air Force.[2] At one time Wynne-Tyson held the title of "King of Redonda", a literary title referencing a small island.[7]

In 1985, he received the Animal Rights Writing Award from the International Society for Animal Rights.[8] His work The Extended Circle was endorsed by animal rights philosophers Tom Regan and Peter Singer.[9]

In 1989, Wynne-Tyson published the play Marvellous Party about his mother and a visit from her close friend Noël Coward. He later adapted it into a radio play which was broadcast on the BBC world service in May 1994.[10]

His last book was an autobiography entitled Finding the Words: A Publishing Life[11] focused on his life in publishing. His autobiography also details the friendship between his mother and Noël Coward.[4]

In 2016, he became a patron of Quaker Concern for Animals.[5]

Centaur Press[edit]

Centaur Press was a full-time independent publishing company until it was sold in 1998. The output from Centaur Press ranged from small stories illustrated by his first wife Joan Stanton to the substantial hardback series Centaur Classics, which included such titles as Leland's five-volume Itinerary in England and Wales, Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch, and Burns' Commonplace Book.[11] The company expanded into humane education releasing titles on topics such as vegetarianism, animal rights, and related philosophy. The firm also published works of fiction (So Say Banana Bird), classical literature and philosophy (The Myths of Plato) and poetry.


Wynne-Tyson was the author of the book, Food for a Future: The Ecological Priority of a Humane Diet, first published in 1975. It was republished as Food for a Future: The Complete Case For Vegetarianism, in 1979. The book argues from anatomy, physiology, and pathology that humans are naturally vegetarian and provides ecological necessities for giving up eating and slaughtering animals.[12][13]

Reviewing the book in the New Scientist magazine, science writer Colin Tudge commented that the "man-is-a-vegetarian thesis is ecological unnecessary, and biology unsound" but vegetarians do have worthwhile things to say.[12] The book was negatively reviewed in the Medical History journal.[13]

Published works[edit]

  • Civilized Alternative: Pattern for Protest (Centaur Press: 1972) ISBN 978-0900000805
  • Food for a Future: The Ecological Priority of a Humane Diet (HarperCollins: 1975) ISBN 978-0706701425
  • Food for a Future: The Complete Case For Vegetarianism (Centaur Press: 1979) ISBN 978-0900000973
  • So Say Banana Bird (Pythian: 1984) ISBN 978-0946849000
  • The Extended Circle: A Dictionary of Humane Thought (Centaur Press: 1985, 2009 revised and expanded ed.) ISBN 978-0900001215
  • Food for a Future: How World Hunger Could be Ended by the Twenty-first Century (Thorsons: 1988) ISBN 978-0722514405
  • Marvellous Party (Open Gate Press: 1989) ISBN 978-0714541785
  • Publishing Your Own Book (Centaur Press: 1989) ISBN 978-0900001284
  • Anything Within Reason (Oakroyd Press: 1994) ISBN 978-0951221013
  • Finding the Words: A Publishing Life (Michael Russell Publishing Ltd.: 2004) ISBN 978-0859552875


  1. ^ a b Walters, Kerry S., Portmess, Lisa, 1999, Ethical Vegetarianism: From Pythagoras to Peter Singer, SUNY Press, p. 233, ISBN 0-7914-4044-3.
  2. ^ a b c Hoare, Philip, 2005-05-22, Manuscripts and the Master, Telegraph.
  3. ^ Handley-Taylor, Geoffrey (1958). International Who's who in Poetry - Volume 2. International Biographical Centre. p. 155.
  4. ^ a b Newley, Patrick, 3005-03-04, Coward’s confidante - Esme Wynne, The Stage.
  5. ^ a b Ryder, Richard D. (8 February 2017). "QCA welcomes our new patron, Jon Wynne-Tyson". Quaker Concern for Animals. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  6. ^ "The Wynne-Tyson effect - Articles from The Fellowship of Life: a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973". Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  7. ^ Sooke, Alastair (14 May 2017). "Stephen Chambers and the Kingdom of Redonda: art's biggest in-joke?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 April 2020. (subscription required)
  8. ^ "Jon Wynne-Tyson - Interviews from The Fellowship of Life: a Christian-based vegetarian network founded in 1973". Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  9. ^ "AFC - The Extended Circle". Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  10. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Jon Wynne-Tyson - Marvellous Party". BBC. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b Lister, Michael (2005). "Finding the Words". Textualities. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  12. ^ a b Tudge, Colin. (May 22, 1975). A need for new recipes. New Scientist. p. 466
  13. ^ a b Jon Wynne-Tyson, Food for a future; the ecological priority of a humane diet. (1976). Medical History 20 (3): 332.

External links[edit]