Jonathan Cape

(1879—1960) publisher

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British publisher. Its founder, Jonathan Cape, began his publishing career as an errand boy for Hatchards, subsequently working for Harper & Brothers and Duckworth. His eponymous company was established in 1921 in partnership with George Wren Howard; Edward Garnett worked as publisher's reader at the firm until his death in 1937. After acquiring the backlist of A. C. Fifield in 1922, Cape published such authors as T. E. Lawrence, Arthur Ransome, and Ernest Hemingway, and cheap series of quality books, including the ‘Travellers’ Library’. After World War II, the James Bond books proved very lucrative for the company. Cape died in 1960, and was succeeded by T. Maschler. The firm merged with Chatto (1969), Bodley Head (1973), and Virago (1987) to form the CVBC group. One of the foremost British literary publishers, it survives as an imprint of Random House (since 1987).

From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Bibliography.

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