Dr Nicola Wilson is Associate Professor of Book and Publishing Studies at the University of Reading, UK and codirector of the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing. She is author of Home in British Working-Class Fiction (Routledge, 2015) and general editor of the Ethel Carnie Holdsworth series. She is currently writing a book on the first British book of the month club, the Book Society (1929–1969).
Virginia Woolf records in her diary, September 22, 1925, clarion testimony to the transformational power of the Hogarth Press on her writing life. The avowed feminism of that final sentence has the force of proleptic aphorism; one woman’s victory over a male-dominated publishing industry might well become the rallying cry for later women printers and press owners. But the future-making turn of the last sentence also eclipses the quiet force of the first: Woolf’s lament that she has sacrificed, willingly, her handwriting to the Hogarth Press.