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Hogarth Press

HOGARTH PRESS

The Hogarth Press was born in the dining room of the home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf (Hogarth House) in Richmond, Surrey. It was devised largely as a hobby for its owners, with whose literary views it was closely identified; but their standing as writers and critics of substance meant that the small press, concerned more with standards than with profit, attracted a reputation for quality that brought the imprint renown.

In 1924 the Press moved to more substantial premises in Tavistock Square in London. Between 1921, when Virginia Woolf's Monday or Tuesday was launched, and 1938, thirty-three titles are listed in the Annals of English Literature 1475-1950, all of high quality, though the first pamphlet was published in 1917. The press became a self-supporting business with a high reputation, particularly in the area of literature. It became an allied company of Chatto and Windus in 1946. By that time, if pamphlets and little series of essays are included, 527 titles had appeared. Apart from writers either famous or later to become so, such as T.S. Eliot, Robert Graves, Katherine Mansfield, C. Day Lewis and Virginia Woolf herself, issues such as disarmament, the League of Nations, educational reform and racial prejudice were tackled. Hogarth was recognized as a foremost publisher of challenging new ideas and major writing. The Press retained this reputation after the alliance with Chatto and Windus.

Seven psycho-analytic works, including Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920a), Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921c) and the first volume of his Collected Papers, were translated from the German under the editorship of Ernest Jones, assisted by James Strachey and published in Britain between 1921 and 1924. But in that year, negotiations were completed with the Hogarth Press, who added the seven numbers of what was entitled The International Psycho-Analytical Library to its list. A partnership was struck with the Institute of Psycho-Analysis in London, who became co-publishers, Leonard Woolf retaining a right of veto, though there is no record that this was ever exercised.

The Library accepted for publication only works of the highest standard, most of which were kept in print for long periods. Karl Abraham, Sandor Ferenczi, Anna Freud and Heinz Hartmann were among its many distinguished authors. The enterprise was so successful that Leonard Woolf agreed to publish a Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud in a new translation under the general editorship of James Strachey, with the collaboration of Anna Freud and the assistance of Alix Strachey and Alan Tyson. The first of twenty-four volumes appeared in 1953 and the last in 1966. The whole is a triumph of scholarship, with extensive notes and editorial introductions: no comparable collection of Freud exists anywhere in the world. Woolf is said to have described the decision to publish the work, with understatement, as "rather fortuitous."

Unhappily, for reasons that have never been fully disclosed, the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, against the wishes of the then editor of the International Library, Clifford Yorke, decided to discontinue the Library, and the last of the series, number 118, Freud's Self-Analysis by Didier Anzieu, was published in 1986. However, the link with Hogarth as co-publishers of the Standard Edition, which has maintained its international success, continues. A new edition is now planned, with a scholarly update of Strachey's editorial apparatus, with additional papers by Freud that were either unknown or unavailable at the time of the first edition, with new refinements. In this venture, the American publisher Norton will join the Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. It will be two or three years before the new edition is ready for publication.

The Hogarth Press has maintained its identity, together with Chatto and Windus, even though it is now part of the Random House publishing group.

Clifford Yorke

See also: British Psycho-Analytical Society; Glover, James; Great Britain; Jones, Ernest; Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud .

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