Elizabeth Willson Gordon is Associate Professor of English at King’s University, Edmonton, Canada. She is one of the creators of the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP), a critical digital archive, and co-author of Scholarly Adventures in Digital Humanities: Making the Modernist Archives Publishing Project (Palgrave, 2017). She is author of Woolf’s-head Publishing (University of Alberta, 2009), and currently at work on the monograph Publishing, Branding, and Selling an Icon: the Cultural Impact of the Hogarth Press 1917–2017. MAPP tweets from @MAPP_Project.
Elizabeth Willson Gordon
Nancy Cunard began printing alone in 1927—in a heat wave no less, as she notes in her posthumously published memoir, These Were the Hours (1969)—and struggled her way through the difficult early stages of learning how to make serviceable prints on an Albion press. She quickly realized, however, that she would need help if the Hours Press were ever to become a successful small publishing house. In 1928, she therefore initiated her well-known collaboration with her lover, the jazz musician Henry Crowder, turning the printing room into a space where, as Jeremy Braddock has recently argued, “Cunard’s advocacy of radical race politics” was often perceived by others as working “in concert with the open publicizing of her own romantic relationships with black men.”