Last Thursday, March 26th, we were as proud and delighted as any relatively new parents to host the first birthday party for The Capuchin Classics. Among the authors, agents, booksellers and members of other associated literary tribes attending were Anne Atkins, Michele Roberts, Tim Bates (grandson of HE), Roger Morgan (son of Charles Morgan) and Valentine Cunningham. Our picture shows (from left to right) Emma Howard, the châtelaine of Capuchin Classics, Alessandro Gallenzi of Oneworld Classics (see Alessandro's Blog for his own unique description of the event) and Tim Bates.
"We see this as contrary to the interests of literature. Sure, it keeps the book theoretically available, but in the narrowest sense of the term. Faber Finds simply put out print-on-demand. While there is a concession for living authors in the form of a release clause should a rival publisher put in an offer, there is no such concession for dead authors.
Our book-buyer had to know that Lucky Jim existed in the first place. After all, the fundamental truth remains that you cannot ask for what you do not already know exists. It is not, then, truly 'making public'.
“Foul play,” I hear you cry – and you’d be right. For this surely marks a step away from what it is to publish, and what it means to keep books alive. To the agents and executors among you I would urge caution before conceding such dog-in-the-manger rights to an author’s works to what is admittedly a prestigious name in publishing, but one that is arguably undermining what it means, properly, to publish."