Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (17/07/1924)




[[MS 2750/255/5]]


17th July 1924


Dear Woolf,


I am very grateful to you.


1. Do I understand you to offer to publish the book yourself? I fear I had the idea that the publishing firm you have some connection with prints publishes only the kind of book that corresponds with olives and artichokes in diet. Otherwise I should have offered you the book at the first.


2. Two things prevent me from offering you the book now, unreservedly. Since Allen & Unwin have gone so far in





investigation I think I ought to give them a chance of amending their offer. And also I wonder whether, as coming from your firm, the book would have as good a chance with reviewers and public.


3. If Allen & Unwin refuse to publish for £250, and if you assure me you can ensure publicity as great as longer established publishers - forgive the reflection, remembering that this book is the only thing of consequence I shall ever







do - then I shall ask you to publish. As we are friends I should have to make certain that qua [?] publisher you made the usual rate of profit.


4. It seems to me an appalling thing that your book sold so badly. I expect my book to sell better, for several reasons. I have the ear of a large religious public. The Royal Commission on African affairs will arouse public interest. The book contains a mass of sensational facts, the kind of matter, I believe, that will make the kind of people who read the





Spectator amazed and angry.


5. I am now doing my final revision which should be finished in a week. But I could send you another typed copy, differing from the final version only in detail, at once, for your reader and printer to report on.


I should infinitely prefer you as my publisher to any other, provided unromantic readers and reviewers who associate your firm with the exotic or the esoteric would not be affected.


Yours most gratefully | Norman Leys [signature]





In case there is occasion, in your opinion, for haste, I enclose stamps for a telegram. If you telegraph I shall send you the incompletely revised mss. [manuscript] tomorrow.


I am anxious it should be published at the most favourable moment of the autumn publishing season.

Rights Statement:

Reproduced with permission from the estate of the author, courtesy of Penguin Random House Archive and Library UK

Source: MS 2750/255/5

Image Rights Holder: © Estate of Norman Leys

Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (17/07/1924)



University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Norman Leys thanks Woolf for his response and asks him if he is offering to publish the book at The Hogarth Press. Leys says he would have offered the book to him first, but now feels he ought to give Allen and Unwin a chance. Leys also says that he is undertaking final revisions.

Handwritten letter signed by Leys