Faber and Faber

Faber and Faber Limited, often abbreviated to Faber, is an independent publishing house in the United Kingdom. Faber has published some of the most well-known literature in the English language, including William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Poet T. S. Eliot was once a Faber editor.

In 2006 the company was named the KPMG Publisher of the Year.[1]

Faber and Faber Inc., formerly the American branch of the London company, was sold in 1998 to the Holtzbrinck company Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Faber and Faber ended the partnership with FSG in 2015 and began distributing its books directly in the United States.[2]

Faber and Faber
Faber and Faber
FounderGeoffrey Faber
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon, England
DistributionThe Book Service (UK)
Allen & Unwin (Australia)
Publishers Group West (US)
Publication typesBooks
Official websitefaber.co.uk


Faber and Faber began as a firm in 1929, but originates in the Scientific Press, owned by Sir Maurice and Lady Gwyer. The Scientific Press derived much of its income from the weekly magazine The Nursing Mirror. The Gwyers' desire to expand into trade publishing led them to Geoffrey Faber, a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford; they founded Faber and Gwyer in 1925. After four years, The Nursing Mirror was sold and Geoffrey Faber and the Gwyers agreed to go their separate ways. Faber selected the company name of Faber and Faber, although there was no other Faber involved.

T. S. Eliot, who had been suggested to Faber by Charles Whibley,[3] had left Lloyds Bank in London to join Faber as a literary adviser; in the first season, the firm issued his Poems 1909–1925. In addition, the catalogues from the early years included books by Ezra Pound, Jean Cocteau, Herbert Read, Max Eastman, George Rylands, John Dover Wilson, Geoffrey Keynes, Forrest Reid, Charles Williams, and Vita Sackville-West. In 1928, Faber and Faber published its first commercial success, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man. The book was at first published anonymously; the author's name, Siegfried Sassoon, was added to the title page for the second impression. Over the next six months, it was reprinted eight times.

Role in publishing

Poetry was originally the main composition of the Faber list, with W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and Louis MacNeice joined Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wyndham Lewis, John Gould Fletcher, Roy Campbell, James Joyce, and Walter de la Mare being published under T. S. Eliot's aegis.

Under Geoffrey Faber's chairmanship, the board in 1929 included Eliot, Richard de la Mare, Charles Stewart, and Frank Morley. The firm's art director was Berthold Wolpe.[4] Faber published biographies, memoirs, fiction, poetry, political and religious essays, art and architecture monographs, children's books, and an ecology list. It also published Eliot's literary review, The Criterion. Eliot rejected two books by George Orwell, A Scullions Tale (the original version of Down and Out in Paris and London) and Animal Farm.

During the Second World War, paper shortages resulted in high profits but much of this profit going to taxation. Notable postwar Faber writers include William Golding, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Lowell, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, W. S. Graham, Philip Larkin, P. D. James, Tom Stoppard, and John Osborne. The firm increased its investment in contemporary drama, including plays by three Nobel Laureates: Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, and T. S. Eliot. Other playwrights subsequently joined Faber, including Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett, Brian Friel, Tony Harrison, David Hare, Frank McGuinness, and Timberlake Wertenbaker.[5]


Modern writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Peter Carey, Orhan Pamuk, and Barbara Kingsolver also joined Faber. Having published the theatrical works of Samuel Beckett for several years, the company acquired the rights to the remainder of his oeuvre from the publishing house of John Calder in 2007. Faber announced in October 2011 that Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of the band Pulp, would be joining as editor-at-large, an appointment similar to one held by Pete Townshend of The Who in the 1980s.

In 2008, the imprint Faber Finds was set up to make copyrighted out-of-print books reavaliable, using print-on-demand technology.[6][7] Works republished in the imprint have included items from the Mass-Observation archives, and works by John Betjeman, Angus Wilson, A. J. P. Taylor, H. G. Wells, Joyce Cary, Nina Bawden, Jean Genet, P. H. Newby, Louis MacNeice, John Carey, F. R. Leavis, Jacob Bronowski, Jan Morris, and Brian Aldiss. In 2009, Faber Finds began to release e-books.[8]

Faber's American arm was sold in 1998 to Farrar, Straus and Giroux ("FSG"), where it remained as an imprint focused on arts, entertainment, media, and popular culture. In February 2015, Faber announced the end of its partnership with FSG.[9]

In June 2012, to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Faber launched a website – Sixty Years in Sixty Poems. Commissioned for The Space – the new digital arts platform developed by the Arts Council in partnership with the BBC – Sixty Years in Sixty Poems took the poems from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy's anthology, Jubilee Lines, and interpreted them using actors' recordings, sound-based generative design, and archive film footage.

The Faber Academy

In 2008, Faber launched The Faber Academy, a creative writing business offering courses for aspiring writers. Courses include "The Art of Publication", "Writing Fiction", and "Becoming a Poet". At times, courses are tutored by famous writers, such as Mike Figgis, Jeanette Winterson, and Tobias Hill. Notable students have included S. J. Watson.

In 2018, The Faber Academy started offering a scholarship to two writers every year, with a focus on under-represented groups such as writers of colour, disabled writers and LGBTQ+ writers.[10]

Faber Digital

Faber Digital was launched in 2009. It has published a number of book-related apps for the iPhone and the iPad, including Malcolm Tucker: The Missing Phone (which was nominated for a BAFTA award), QI: Quite Interesting, Harry Hill's Joke Book, and The Waste Land for iPad app. The Waste Land for iPad app was Faber's second collaboration with Touch Press, following the Solar System for iPad, which won the Futurebook Award for Digital innovation at the Book Industry Awards in 2011. In 2013, in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, Faber Digital launched Drama Online, a subscription-based digital content platform for libraries, educators, students, and researchers.[11]

Faber Factory

Faber (in partnership with the Perseus Books Group in the US) introduced The Faber Factory in 2011, a digitisation service.


The firm's original location was its Georgian offices at 24 Russell Square, in Bloomsbury, London. Faber later moved to 3 Queen Square, London, and on 19 January 2009 the firm moved to Bloomsbury House, 74–77 Great Russell Street, London.

Nobel Laureate authors published by Faber

See also


  1. ^ "Awards & Prizes". Faber & Faber. Faber & Faber. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Faber & Faber Teams With Perseus to Enter U.S. Market Directly". Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  3. ^ Kojecky, Roger (1972). T. S. Eliot's Social Criticism. Faber & Faber. p. 55. ISBN 0571096921.
  4. ^ James Pardey, 'Wolpe, Albertus and Faber's Classic Covers.' In: Creative Review, December 2011.
  5. ^ Dramaonlinelibrary.com
  6. ^ Dammann, Guy (2 May 2008). "Faber Launches Print-on-Demand Classics". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  7. ^ Page, Stephen (31 May 2008). "Faber Finds: Your Own Private Printing Press". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  8. ^ Neilan, Catherine (30 June 2009). "Faber Finds branches into e-books for anniversary". TheBookseller.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  9. ^ Farrington, Joshua. "Faber ends FSG partnership". The Bookseller. The Bookseller. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  10. ^ The Faber Academy Scholarship https://www.faberacademy.co.uk/news/2017/12/faber-academy-scholarship/
  11. ^ Dramaonlinelibrary.com

External links

A Year with Swollen Appendices

A Year with Swollen Appendices is a book by Brian Eno.

Andrew Motion

Sir Andrew Motion (born 26 October 1952) is an English poet, novelist, and biographer, who was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009. During the period of his laureateship, Motion founded the Poetry Archive, an online resource of poems and audio recordings of poets reading their own work. In 2012, he became President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, taking over from Bill Bryson.

Faber Book of Irish Verse

The Faber Book of Irish Verse was a poetry anthology edited by John Montague and first published in 1974 by Faber and Faber. Recognised as an important collection, it has been described as 'the only general anthology of Irish verse in the past 30 years that has a claim to be a work of art in itself ... still the freshest introduction to the full range of Irish poetry'. According to Montague, "I'm dealing with a thousand years of Irish verse in under four hundred pages. I needed a thousand pages.'

Forward Prizes for Poetry

The Forward Prizes for Poetry are major British awards for poetry, presented annually at a public ceremony in London. They were founded in 1992 by William Sieghart with the aim of celebrating excellence in poetry and increasing its audience. The prizes do this by identifying and honouring talent: collections published in the UK and Ireland over the course of the previous year are eligible, as are single poems nominated by journal editors or prize organisers. Each year, works shortlisted for the prizes — plus those highly commended by the judges — are collected in the Forward Book of Poetry.

The awards have been sponsored since their inception by the content marketing agency Bookmark, formerly Forward Worldwide. The best first collection prize is sponsored by the estate of Felix Dennis.

The 28th Forward Prizes will be awarded on 20 October 2019 at the Southbank Centre in London

Hanif Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi, CBE (born 5 December 1954) is a British playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist of Pakistani and English descent. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

High Windows

High Windows is a collection of poems by English poet Philip Larkin, and was published in 1974 by Faber and Faber Limited. The readily available paperback version was first published in Britain in 1979. The collection is the last publication of new poetry by Larkin before his death in 1985, and it contains some of his most famous poems, including the title piece, "High Windows", "Dublinesque", and "This Be The Verse". The collection contains themes presented in his earlier collections, though the tone of the poems caused critics to suggest the book is darker and more "socially engaged" than his earlier volumes.

It is currently on the AQA AS/A2 level English Literature syllabus.

Horse's Neck (short story collection)

Horse's Neck is a collection of short stories written by Pete Townshend between 1979 and 1984. It was first published in 1985 by Faber and Faber.

More Dark Than Shark

More Dark Than Shark is a 1986 book by Brian Eno and Russell Mills. It features the lyrics to Eno's songs, each accompanied by an artwork inspired by the song's lyrics by Mills. Most of the lyrics and artworks are accompanied by notes by Eno and Mills on the lyrics and the interpretation of them as used for the artwork.

The book is arranged chronologically, with songs arranged according to the album on which they appeared. Each album forms a chapter, and is introduced by a commentary by Rick Poynor, these commentaries largely formed through interviews with Eno. The commentaries cover Eno and Mills's influences, working methods, biography and philosophies, and are illustrated with excerpts from Eno's working notebooks. The chapters – and the albums which they precede – are: The Prepared Observer (Here Come the Warm Jets); The Painted Score (Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)); The Dynamics of the System (Another Green World); The Hidden Intention (Before and After Science); and The Words I Receive (this last chapter accompanies various collaborative songs).

The book was published by Faber and Faber, London, in association with Opal Records Ltd.. It was issued concurrently with the compilation album More Blank Than Frank/Desert Island Selection.

Nones (Auden)

Nones is a book of poems by W. H. Auden published in 1951 by Faber & Faber. The book contains Auden's shorter poems written between 1946 and 1950, including "In Praise of Limestone", "Prime", "Nones," "Memorial for the City", "Precious Five", and "A Walk After Dark".

"Nones" is a contemporary setting of the Good Friday Passion.

The book includes "Barcarolle" (barcarolle), a poem from Auden's libretto for Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the only poem in the book that did not appear in Auden's later collections. The book is dedicated to Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and his wife Ursula.

Composer Luciano Berio named his orchestral piece Nones, originally planned as an oratorio, after Auden's poem.

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939) is a collection of whimsical poems by T. S. Eliot about feline psychology and sociology, published by Faber and Faber. It is the basis for the musical Cats.

Eliot wrote the poems in the 1930s, and included them, under his assumed name "Old Possum", in letters to his godchildren. They were collected and published in 1939, with cover illustrations by the author, and quickly re-published in 1940, illustrated in full by Nicolas Bentley. They have also been published in versions illustrated by Edward Gorey (1982) and Axel Scheffler (2009).

Red or Dead (novel)

Red or Dead is a novel by British author David Peace. It details Bill Shankly's period as manager of Liverpool football club from his appointment in 1959 to his unexpected resignation in 1974.The novel was shortlisted for the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize (2013).

Secondary Worlds

Secondary Worlds is a book of four essays by W. H. Auden, first published in 1968.

The four essays in the book are based on the four T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures that Auden delivered at the University of Kent in Canterbury in 1967. The titles of the four lectures are: "The Martyr as Dramatic Hero", "The World of the Saga", "The World of Opera", and "Words and the Word".

The title of the book is taken from J. R. R. Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories".

The book is dedicated to Valerie Eliot.

The Ascent of F6

The Ascent of F6: A Tragedy in Two Acts, by W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, was the second and most successful play in the Auden-Isherwood collaboration, first published in 1936. It was a major contribution to English poetic drama in the 1930s. It has been seen as a parable about will, leadership and the nature of power: matters of increasing concern in Europe as that decade progressed.

The Burial at Thebes

The Burial at Thebes: A version of Sophocles' Antigone is a play by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, based on the fifth century BC tragedy Antigone by Sophocles. It is also an opera by Dominique Le Gendre

The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland is a novel by journalist Giles Foden,

published by Faber and Faber in 1998. Focusing on the rise of Ugandan President Idi Amin and his reign as dictator from 1971 to 1979, the novel, which interweaves fiction and historical fact, is written as the memoir of a fictional Scottish doctor in Amin's employ. Foden's novel received critical acclaim and numerous awards when it was published. In 2006, an eponymous film adaptation was released.

The Shield of Achilles

The Shield of Achilles is a poem by W. H. Auden first published in 1952, and the title work of a collection of poems by Auden, published in 1955. It is Auden's response to the detailed description, or ekphrasis, of the shield borne by the hero Achilles in Homer's epic poem the Iliad.

The Uncommon Reader

The Uncommon Reader is a novella by Alan Bennett. After appearing first in the London Review of Books, Vol. 29, No. 5 (8 March 2007), it was published later the same year in book form by Faber & Faber and Profile Books.

An audiobook version read by the author was released on CD in 2007.

The Whitsun Weddings

The Whitsun Weddings is a collection of 32 poems by Philip Larkin. It was first published by Faber and Faber in the United Kingdom on 28 February 1964. It was a commercial success, by the standards of poetry publication, with the first 4,000 copies being sold within two months. A United States edition appeared some seven months later.

It contains many of Larkin's best known poems, such as 'The Whitsun Weddings', 'Days', 'Mr Bleaney', 'MCMXIV', and 'An Arundel Tomb'.

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