Thursday, July 20, 2006

Welcome to the Nonesuch Press blog.

The Nonesuch Press has a greatly respected place in the history of British publishing, with its elegant and distinguished editions. It was set up in the roaring twenties by Frances Meynell and his wife, Vera, along with their good friend David ‘Bunny’ Garnett. Frances had a dream of publishing books of the finest quality that would be accessible to the widest possible spectrum of people.

Former Penguin CEO, Peter Mayer, bought the Nonesuch Press in 2005 from Joan Reinhardt, wife of Max Reinhardt, (best known for his ownership of the Bodley Head) who took over the press in 1986. The first Nonesuch book to have been reissued for the 21st century was The Week-End Book – a book that perfectly represents the Nonesuch spirit. The Week-End Book was last published exactly 50 years ago. It started out as a pocket guide to weekend leisure containing helpful hints on things to do, games to play and poetry to read. After 34 editions, it finally came to an end in 1955, only to be resurrected after Peter Meyer spotted it while browsing through the Nonesuch library in Joan Reinhardt’s Chelsea flat. We will be publishing a new Week-End Book this autumn, much as the original books were published yearly. The new edition will contain all new pieces from the 1920s and 1930s, plus some brand new pieces from the charming Julian Fellowes, intrepid explorer Rory Stewart and others. It is sure to make the perfect accompaniment to the Week-End Books that we've published so far.

The second publication from the resurrected Nonesuch Press was the stunning Nonesuch Dickens. Facsimile replicas of the original Nonesuch Dickens of 1937, a set of six of these elegant books were published last Christmas, including Bleak House, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Great Expectations/Hard Times and festive favourites, Oliver Twist and the Christmas Books. The entire Nonesuch Dickens comprises 23 titles plus a book on the famous series itself. The 1937 originals were based on the Dickens Edition , published by Chapman and Hall in 1867 and the last edition to have been personally overseen by the author himself.

This was followed in the Spring of 2006 with The Week-End Problems Book, which contains puzzles from 1932, which are just as taxing and fun to play today.

Peter Mayer has great plans for the future of the Nonesuch Press and he has an extraordinary library of books to choose from. We hope that our readers will find them a real pleasure to read.