• Title
    Peter Owen Ltd Archive
  • Reference
    MS 3627
  • Production date
  • Creator
  • Creator History
    Peter Owen (1927–2016) started his company, aged twenty-four, six years after the Second World War. Set up in 1951 with an initial investment of £850 and a bank overdraft guaranteed by Peter Owen's mother. Owen's aim was to publish "only books of quality" including first novels, established authors and translations. The firm published several bestsellers and longsellers such as Hesse's Siddharta. The venture also benefitted from Owen's friendships with writers such as Peter and Jane Bowles. He ran the business from home, with a typewriter as his only equipment. Soon, however, the company started to flourish, enabling him to employ some staff – his first editor was Muriel Spark. He was able to bring some of the very best international literature to what was a very insular British market. In the decades since then, although the industry has changed beyond recognition, Peter Owen Publishers continues the tradition of producing new and interesting writing. The company has published seven Nobel Prize winners, including Hermann Hesse, Octavio Paz and Isaac Bashevis Singer, and boasts a backlist that includes some of the most talented and important writers from all over the world.
  • Scope and Content
    The collection contains manuscripts, typescripts, author's corrected proofs and other publishing material relating to books published by Peter Owen Ltd. There is also correspondence between Peter Owen and various authors including Paul Bowles, Shusaku Endo, D.J. Enright, Ronald Hayman, Anais Nin, Kathleen Raine, Jeremy Sandford, Peter Vansittart and others.
  • Extent
    41 boxes
  • Level of description
  • Content person
  • Finding aids
    A typed list of the material is available in the Reading Room