Trade interviewed for latest 'Publishing Lives' series

Trade interviewed for latest 'Publishing Lives' series

BBC Radio Four’s "Publishing Lives" returns today (March 10th), with the series profiling five great British publishers including Carmen Callil, Victor Gollancz and Norah Smallwood.

Presented by Robert McCrum [pictured], the programme will be broadcast every day this week at 1.45pm.

The first episode will profile Kaye Webb, who took over Puffin in 1961 and during her career acquired the paperback rights to some of the world’s most famous children’s authors, including Roald Dahl, Maurice Sendak, Raymond Briggs, Quentin Blake and C S Lewis.

Webb, who died in 1996, appeared on "Desert Island Discs" towards the end of her life, where she said: “I've had very good luck in the working sense and not such good luck in the private sense." Her third husband, cartoonist Ronald Searle, left her for another woman, and she brought up their twin children alone.

Tomorrow’s programme will profile George Orwell’s publisher Victor Gollancz, who used the profits from his bestselling authors to fund his pioneering Left Book Club to campaign against the rise of fascism in Europe.

On Wednesday McCrum will interview people including Dame Gail Rebuck and A S Byatt about Norah Smallwood, one of the first women to break in to publishing in the 1930s, becoming m.d. of Chatto & Windus from 1975-82.

Paul Hamlyn will be profiled on Thursday’s show, which will feature interviews with Tim Hely Hutchinson and Lady Helen Hamlyn, with Friday’s programme profiling Carmen Callil, who founded Virago Press.

The first series of the programme profiled John Murray, Allen Lane, Harold Macmillan, George Weidenfeld and Geoffrey Faber.