Boydell & Brewer Ltd
UK specialist publisher in history, literature and theatre was formed in 1978. It merged two companies, Boydell Press and D.S. Brewer, whose founders, Richard Barber and Derek Brewer, were themselves scholars - Brewer a Chaucer specialist and Lecturer in English at Cambridge (subsequently Professor of English and Master of Emmanuel College), Barber a medieval historian and Arthurian.
Medieval studies originally formed the core of the list, but it has rapidly expanded to embrace the humanities in all periods up to and including the nineteenth century: Colin White’s edition of Nelson – The New Letters was considered one of the more enduring publications commemorating the 200th anniversary of the admiral’s death.
In 1996 the company bought John Varey’s Tamesis list and became the leading academic imprint outside Spain. Tamesis specialises in the publication of archive studies of Spanish theatrical history and scholarly editions and monographs relating to the literature, history, art and philology of the Spanish-speaking world. In recent months Tamesis has broadened its programme to include Companions to Luis Buńuel, Latin American Film and Magic Realism. In 2006 a new venture, Gallica, specializing in medieval French, was launched.
The Boydell Press has also become one of the leading publishers of books on classical music, with particular emphasis on British music of the twentieth century. Recent successes include pianist Susan Tomes’ acclaimed book of diaries and essays entitled Beyond the Notes, the final part of Donald Mitchell’s four volume survey of the music of Mahler, Winton Dean’s Handel’s Operas 1726-1741 and Diana McVeagh’s Elgar the Music Maker which followed swiftly on the heels of her long-awaited Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music.
Seeking to establish a presence in the US market, the company founded the University of Rochester Press in November 1989 which now publishes between 20 and 30 books each year. Alongside publications in the fields of African studies, philosophy, and social and medical history, URP is also home to the prestigious Eastman Studies in Music series. In 1998 the programme was extended further with the acquisition of Camden House, a scholarly publisher of books on German and American literature and culture.
Boydell & Brewer publish and distribute for the Victoria County History and the Royal Historical Society, as well as several other learned societies. However, medieval history and literature remain the company’s areas of undoubted excellence. Some recent highlights include Ole Benedictow’s ground-breaking study of The Black Death, the first English translation of Lucien Musset’s magisterial Bayeux Tapestry, Carole Rawcliffe’s Leprosy in Medieval England, David Roffe’s revolutionary Decoding Domesday and the 16 volume print version of The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, 1275-1504.
While embracing a philosophy of innovation and growth, Boydell & Brewer remains a defiantly independent publisher of scholarly works for the academic community and thought-provoking, attractively-produced books for the general reader.