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Gollancz (Victor Gollancz Ltd)

(Victor Gollancz Ltd), Journey's End, The Story of a Publishing House, 1928–1978

publishing authors fiction philip

the British publishing business founded in 1927 by Victor Gollancz (18931967) with the stated intention of steering between ‘the Scylla of preciousness and dilettantism and the Charybdis of purely commercialised mass production’. The first list, announced in February 1928, was chiefly made up of histories, biographies, and fiction, with additional plays, volumes of poetry, and works on architecture; H. G. Wells and Philip Guedalla were the best-known of Gollancz's authors at the time. The company quickly established itself on a sound commercial footing, its editions becoming well known for their uniformly distinctive bright yellow dust-jackets. R. C. Sherriff's play Journey's End (1929) was the first of their conspicuously successful titles. Novelists published by Gollancz in its first ten years included Daphne du Maurier, A. J. Cronin, Michael Innes, Dorothy L. Sayers, and George Orwell. Throughout the early 1930s the firm was developing the specialization in socialist and pacifist books which resulted in the formation in 1936 of the Left Book Club. From 1945 onward, a large proportion of Gollancz's books were by American authors, among them John Updike, Vladimir Nabokov, James Agee, and John Cheever. Since the early 1960s the company has been noted for its science fiction publishing, authors having included J. G. Ballard, Robert Heinlein, Ursula Le Guin, and Philip K. Dick. Sheila Hodges's history of Gollancz, The Story of a Publishing House, 1928–1978, appeared in 1978.

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