Queen Anne Press

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The Queen Anne Press is a small publisher (originally a private press).

History[edit]

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 began by concentrating on limited editions. 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, although it owed more to Kemsley's other private press, the Dropmore Press, with which it shared printing equipment, and books from the two were very alike in the period between 1951 and 1955.[3]

Director Ann Fleming, the socialite wife of Ian Fleming (and a long-time correspondent of Evelyn Waugh[4]), 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".[5] Waugh proposed to collect a few robust reviews under the title Offensive Matter.[6] 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 wood-engravings by Reynolds Stone (a protégé of John Betjeman, according to Waugh, who did not like the book nor its illustrations),[7] 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,[8] was a popular work, prompting Ann to write "business is flourishing"[9] 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.[10][1] In 1955 or 1956 the printing equipment was sold, and the Queen Anne Press became a publishing imprint only. Fleming remained at the helm until his death in 1964, and the imprint 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 journal The Book Collector (formerly Book Handbook), whose editorial board consisted of bibliophiles Michael Sadleir, John Hayward, John Carter, Percy Muir and Ian Fleming.[11] The Queen Anne Press has also published the 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 edition of his complete works, including a new collection entitled Talk of the Devil; a posthumous volume of rarely seen material, some of it unpublished,[12] the title was taken from a list that Fleming kept in his notebook. Further limited editions have been published under the Queen Anne Press imprint.

Selected Publications[edit]

References[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. ^ Nash, P. W., 'The Dropmore and Queen Anne Presses' in The Private Library, 5th series, 5:3, Autumn 1992, pp. 108-134.
  4. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.143-4. London: Collins Harvill, 1985
  5. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.147. London: Collins Harvill, 1985
  6. ^ Lycett, Andrew. Ian Fleming, p.227-8. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995
  7. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, p.391. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980
  8. ^ Beyond Bond, p.9-10, published by Eton College Library, 2008
  9. ^ In a letter to Evelyn Waugh. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.162.
  10. ^ Amory, Mark. The Letters of Ann Fleming, p.112. London: Collins Harvill, 1985
  11. ^ Pearson, John. The Life of Ian Fleming (London: Jonathan Cape, 1966) p.264.
  12. ^ James Bond Author Ian Fleming was electric transport advocate, manuscript reveals, appearing in The Telegraph, 20 September 2008
  • Paul W. Nash. 'The Dropmore and Queen Anne Presses' in The Private Library, 5th series, 5:3, Autumn 1992, pp. 108-134. 'Addenda', 5th series, 6:4, Winter 1993, pp. 181-183.


External links[edit]