He was a writer
She was a
publisher who sided with the writers.
They met in the
early 1920s at Shakespeare & Company, her bookshop where the most
celebrated writers in Paris gathered.
The Left Bank
book haven was the meeting-place for free thinkers and literary rebels like
Ernest Hemingway, the still-unknown F. Scott Fitzgerald and the most radical
innovator of 20th century writing, James Joyce.
Sylvia’s shop, then began writing there, using it as a combination office,
library and post office. It was during this time that the Irish exile, who had
spent seven poverty-stricken years working on his novel, Ulysses,
completed his unorthodox masterpiece.
obscene, and worst of all non-profitable, no mainstream publisher would touch
afraid to break with tradition.
She pooled her
meagre savings, along with small donations gathered from Joyce’s fellow writers,
then stepped into the literary unknown.
turned publisher in 1922 when she produced 1,000 copies of Ulysses under
the Shakespeare and Company imprint.
Now regarded as a
masterpiece, Joyce’s book was initially the subject of intense controversy.
It was censored
in America until 1934 and not released in England until 1937.
after its Paris publication, Ulysses is now celebrated worldwide.
initially vehemently rejected Joyce, honours him as a literary hero every June
Yet the book
described as the best English novel of the 20th century would never
have changed the literary landscape had not Sylvia Beach believed that one
writer’s immortal words were more precious than a pocketful of bank notes.
Proof it seems
that if history is to made – again - we need to ignore the critics of change and
publish what we believe in.
Travel Books Code of Ethics
We believe that publishing great books is a responsibility which brings with it
obligations. While we acknowledge the possible financial rewards involved in
creating the Classic Travel Books collection, we deem that publishing the wisdom
of the world brings with it the need to acknowledge the interests of the authors
and their readers. Hence this statement regarding the methods under which the
Classic Travel Books collection will be created and run.
As literary archaeologists, we believe there is a need to recognize the human
value and historical importance of travel writing, that ancient art which
enriches our souls, enlightens our minds and preserves the memory of bygone
We will be the first to admit that traditional publishing will always have a
role to play. Best-sellers and coffee table books will remain in their domain,
as they continue to market not only titles but celebrity authors who are the
flavour of the media-inspired moment.
click here to read an excellent article in The Times by Ben
Our mission is to publish, promote and protect the irreplaceable human
experiences witnessed and written about by the world’s most celebrated travel
Those of us alive today at the cusp of the third millennium are witnessing the
end of the Industrial Age and the rise of the Information Age.
The publishing process will be swept up in this oncoming storm.
Stunning technological advances will allow us collectively to create a
fundamental shift in the availability and dissemination of human knowledge.
Classic Travel Books, with its focused collection, print-on-demand publishing
method and micro-targeted on-line audience is a cutting-edge
prototype for this new
21st century search for knowledge.
The new methods integrated into the Classic Travel Books collection allow us to
turn a manuscript into a finished book in ten days, ensure that our titles never
go out of print and represent our desire to incorporate the most exciting
technological tools available into the publishing process.
Massive tremors are changing what has long been a recognizable literary
One area of concern is the environmental practice of creating and then pulping
mainstream books whose poor economic viability make them a financial burden to
While we believe that the books we publish often provide a last look at a lost
portion of the world’s history, nevertheless we recognize that environmental
accountability is a key factor in all our decision-making.
Our enthusiasm for preserving rare and important travel knowledge will always be
tempered by the realization of our ecological duties as publishers.
To fell forests and then pulp books is not a responsible act.
Using the print-on-demand method, every Classic Travel Book is a wanted book.
Though our books are available around the world 24-7, and are ordered, printed
and delivered as and when required, we support and promote the environmentally
friendly method pioneered by the Print-On-Demand system which proves that with
Classic Travel Books “not a twig is wasted.”
Outdated rituals have allowed the entrenched publishing world to flourish, while
authors’ rights decline and their literary talents are exploited.
We will not enrich ourselves by betraying the trust of others.
Our contract, which was reviewed by the British Society of Authors, is drawn up
to protect the integrity of the authors.
Furthermore, because the books featured in the Classic Travel Books collection
never go out of print, these new editions translate into a renewed income stream
generated from every title which will provide rewards to the author’s heirs for
generations to come.
While recognizing the importance of collecting rare books, we do not believe the
world’s most valuable travel literature can inspire a new generation to explore
if they are denied economic access to the titles which changed history.
We will price the books in the Classic Travel Books collection so as to make the
dissemination of this valuable information available at an affordable price.
Nor will we will offer literary chicken McNuggets.
All titles in the Classic Travel Books collection will be there on merit.
Our lives are not motivated by a desire for gaining great wealth, only great
experiences and friendships.
many of the books listed in the collection can be found in the public
domain, we believe we have a moral responsibility to share a portion of the
profits with the academic institutions, scholarly societies and designated
charities associated with the deceased travel writers featured in this
These institutions and donations will include the George Borrow
the Pitcairn Island Library
and the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia.
Great literature is
fundamental to human existence and resistance.
Unlike traditional publishing which often takes two years to bring a book to
market, the speed of the Print-On-Demand system allows us to translate today’s
ideas into tomorrow’s books.
This vital freedom of expression will not submit to political pressure or yield
to financial constraints.
Our aim is to disseminate great travel writing to as many people on the planet
as possible via our new method of public expression.
This will not be an on-line bookstore.
It will be an internet-based international community which will display the most
important collection of travel books ever written in any and all languages.
Readers are reminded that they are no longer merely customers but an interactive
fan base with a strong impulse for participation.
News of authors'
travels and new books will be regularly announced on the Classic Travel Books
personal websites will be linked to Classic Travel Books so that readers will be
able to purchase autographed copies of authors’ books, read about their planned
The format of offering specialized intellectual excellence from the world’s
travel experts will provide our readers with the strongest focused collection of
travel literature ever known.
Our goal is to create a lasting legacy that will keep fine travel books alive
forever and guarantee the transferral of valuable knowledge for generations to
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