Obituary: Ernest Hecht

Obituary: Ernest Hecht

Ernest Hecht, who has died aged 88, was the last of the émigré publishers – a fact he delighted in pointing out in the wake of the passing two years ago of Lord Weidenfeld and Peter Owen.

Hecht was nothing if not competitive, always keen to beat (or at least better) his fellow publishers, never allowing a promotional opportunity to go to waste. Whatever the subject, Souvenir Press had published the first book on the subject. And more often than not it was true.

Souvenir Press was founded in the Hecht family home in 1951, with a £250 loan from his father. The first bestseller, three years ...

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