Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (19/07/1924)



[[MS 2750/255/7]]


19th July 1924


Dear Woolf,


I received this morning both your letter and a long one from Stanley Unwin - a thoroughly nice letter, explaining that in the case of so admirable a book as mine a "high standard of production", "special brass lettering for the bindings", "specially printed jackets" - are the thing. He assures me that his travillers [sic] will be paid the same, and all else





be done, as if all the risk were his. But he implies that he will not amend either offer. (The 15% commission is to be on 2/3 of published price.)


Indecision is not a failing of mine. But I dont [sic] think I know nearly enough to decide between you and Unwin. So I have sent all your letters and Unwin's to Thomas Jones L.L.D., a friend of thirty years, once a professor of





political economy, now one of the secretaries to the cabinet, an author of some experience, at least as much a man of affairs as yourself - which I most decidedly am not.


Unwin's estimate includes only £10 on advertising. The advertiser of boots or soap seeks to persuade readers of the superiority of his product. I should wish a larger sum to be spent merely on informing the public that a book on the subject is procurable, a book by a man with some knowledge





of the country and of the problems that have arisen in it which make the policy to be pursued in it critical for the whole Empire.


Unless T. Jones knows some great man who at his mere command will publish the book, and unless he advises me to accept one of Unwin's offers, I shall send you the MSS[Manuscript]. for you to publish. There is no need for delay. The book is written extremely carefully so that "corrections" should scarcely be





needed at all.


Thank you for explaining so frankly about the Hogarth Press. I am afraid I am rather arrogantly assuming that the book is well enough done for your imprimatur. On my side I don't see why a few pounds spent on extra advertising should not more than recompense for any theoretical disadvantage due to your commercial inexperience.


I suppose you are




not restricted in format &c. to the kind of bindings that Philistines like me regard as lurid. I should prefer some plain uniform colour - in a word inexpressive. Why should a binding express anything except that there is a book inside?


Yours rather phrenetically | Norman Leys [signature]

Rights Statement:

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

Source: MS 2750/255/7

Image Rights Holder: Norman Leys

Letter from Norman Leys to Leonard Woolf (19/07/1924)



University of Reading, Special Collections

Archival Folder:

Norman Leys talks about a letter he has received from Stanley Unwin and the letters he has received from Woolf. He discusses what lettering, binding and jackets Unwin wants for the book. He states he does not how to decide between Unwin and Woolf. He has sent all his letters to a friend to help him decide. He then states that he will send him the MSS if his friend does not find anyone, and that the book is ready to be published with minor corrections. He offers his own preferences on binding. (Handwritten letter with Norman Leys signature).