13 June 2017
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Printing fever arrived at Hogarth House, Paradise Road, Richmond, in April 1917. ‘We get so absorbed we can’t stop; I see that real printing will devour one’s entire life,’ Virginia Woolf wrote to her sister.

Her husband, Leonard, wished they had never bought the ‘cursed’ hand-press as there was a serious risk he might ‘never do anything else’. The dining room was requisitioned for the machine. The couple were consumed and delighted by their new interest. Their hands were permanently stained with ink.

The first Hogarth Press publication was Two Stories. Bound in bright Japanese paper, it contained a story by Virginia, and one by Leonard, with illustrations by Dora Carrington. Virginia typeset and bound 134 copies, knotting them by hand in vivid red thread.

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The History of Hogarth

1917: Hogarth Press publishes its first book, Two Stories, typeset, bound and printed by Virginia and Leonard Woolf at Hogarth House, Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey.

1920s: The Press publishes T. S.Eliot’s The Waste Land and takes on the International Psycho-Analytical Library, becoming the English language publishers of Sigmund Freud.

1924: Hogarth Press moves from Richmond to the basement of 52 Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury.

1930s: Two notable Hogarth bestsellers and book club picks, The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West (1930) and Flush by Virginia Woolf (1933), are published

1940: Hogarth Press relocates for a time outside of London at its regular printers in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, after 52 Tavistock Square takes a direct bomb hit during World War Two.

1941: Virginia Woolf dies

1946: The Press catalogue now numbers 527 books

book cover, book page

1969: Leonard Woolf dies but the Press continues: Isaiah Berlin joins the catalogue and a Bloomsbury revival sees definitive editions of Virginia Woolf’s works produced, including diaries, letters and essays

1984: Under publisher Carmen Callil, Hogarth Paperbacks, an eclectic list of purple-spined paperbacks, are launched

1990:  A new non-fiction hardback list is created, overseen by commissioning editors Andrew Motion and Jenny Uglow

2015: A new series, Hogarth Shakespeare, begins, in which contemporary novelists respond to their favourite Shakespeare plays

2017: Hogarth marks its centenary year with a new birthday publication of Two Stories, adding a new story by bestselling author Mark Haddon

  • Two Stories

  • Virginia Woolf was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. With her husband, Leonard Woolf, she started the Hogarth Press in 1917: the list ranged widely in fiction, poetry, politics and psychoanalysis, and published all Virginia Woolf’s own work.

    Its first publication appeared in 2017: Two Stories, bound in bright Japanese paper, contained a short story from both Virginia and Leonard. Typeset and bound by Virginia, with illustrations by Dora Carrington, 134 copies were printed by Leonard using a small handpress installed in the dining room at Hogarth House, Richmond.

    To celebrate the 100th anniversary of ‘Publication No. 1’ this new edition of Two Stories takes the original text of Virginia’s story, ‘The Mark on the Wall’ (with illustrations by Dora Carrington), and pairs it with a new story, ‘St Brides Bay’, by Mark Haddon, a lifelong reader of Virginia Woolf.

    TWO STORIES also includes a portrait of Virginia Woolf by Mark Haddon, and a short introduction from the publisher about the founding of the Press.

  • Buy the book

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