Nicola Beauman – On Persephone Books.

Tonight we welcomed Persephone Books founder Nicola Beauman. Nicola told us about how and why she started Persephone Books,  a publishers that reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century (mostly) women writers.

The company was founded in 1998, but really took of in the year 2000, thanks to their publication of “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” by Winifred Watson. It was just luck, thanks to a window display put on by Daunt books in their Marylebone shop. In 2008 “Miss Pettigew Lives for a Day” was made into a fantastic film.

Book cover from the Classic Collection.

What makes Persephone Books so special?

Not only is every title chosen with inspiration and care, but the design and printing process of these books is very well thought through.

Most of the book covers are grey because as Nicola put it “well – we really like grey”. The books from the Classic Collection have illustrated covers.

The books don’t contain blurbs, just quotes and a short biography of the author. Each book also has a beautiful end paper and bookmark which dates back to the publication date of the original book.

The books are printed and bound in Germany using a type of binding called “dispersion binding” which means that the books will lie flat – making it super comfortable to read,

The end paper to “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” From:

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Nicola. To find out more about Persephone Books visit their website, or pop into their shop for a cup of tea and a chat: 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London WC1N 3NB.