Thursday, January 21, 2016

R.I.P. Lord Weidenfeld

George Weidenfeld
Lord Weidenfeld, publisher and founder of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, the British publisher, died earlier today at age 96.

Weidenfeld and Nigel Nicolson founded Weidenfeld & Nicolson, or W&N, in 1949. It was bought in 1991 by the Orion Publishing Group, which has been owned by Hachette Livre since 1998.

In early years, W&N published Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and The Double Helix by James Watson as well as works by Isaiah Berlin, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Rose Macaulay, Mary McCarthy, Edna O'Brien and Saul Bellow. In 2013, W&N published I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb.

Weidenfeld remained active in the house until his death, telling the Bookseller in 2009: "I couldn't just be playing golf. I would go mad. I have five or six major projects on the go and I would like to see them out. I have a three-year plan, and if the chairman of the board upstairs gives me another three years, I think I will."

Hachette UK CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson said today: "I first met George Weidenfeld in the 1980s and came to know him well and admire him enormously since that time. He was a brilliant publisher, a driving force in the careers of the many distinguished authors he published, taking a delight in ideas, and applying his boundless energy to the issues of the day. We will miss his wise counsel, his generosity, his brilliant publishing instinct and his great insight but there is consolation in the fact that he lived a long, wonderful and constructive life."

Born in Vienna, Austria, Weidenfeld left for Britain after the Nazi takeover in 1938. He worked during the war for the BBC. Strikingly, last year he helped fund the rescue of 2,000 Syrian Christians from areas controlled by ISIS as a way of "repaying his debts," he said at the time. According to the Daily Mail, he wanted to thank British Quakers and other Christians who helped refugees like him fleeing from the Nazis.

via Shelf Awareness

While over at The Guardian - Publishing giant George Weidenfeld dies aged 96 

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