Guide to the Fortune Press Records 1896-1974
Cage 652

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Title
Fortune Press Records
ID
Cage 652
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1929-1935
Date [inclusive]
1896-1974
Extent
1.0 box
General Physical Description note
.25 feet of linear shelf space
Language
English
Abstract
This collection consists chiefly of corporate records relating to Reginald Ashley Caton and the Fortune Press (London, England) between 1896 and 1974.

Preferred Citation note

Fortune Press Records, 1896-1974

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections Washington State University Libraries Pullman, WA

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Biographical/Historical note

The Fortune Press, originally named Fortune and Merriman, was founded in 1924 by Reginald Ashley Caton (1897-1971) in London, England. From the beginning, Caton encountered legal copyright conflicts with Nonesuch Press in 1925 and 1926. Although the case was not ultimately taken to court, in 1934 Caton faced trial when ten of his books were condemned for obscene libel.

Timothy d'Arch Smith (1936- ), assistant and later owner of Fortune Press from 1970 to 1971, blamed Caton's lack of success on his poor distribution. Early 20th century antiquarian booksellers described his books as "curious," many of them involving violence, poverty, "amatory unorthodoxy," and other obscenities. Until its closing in 1971, the Fortune Press published more than 600 books under the efforts of Caton.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists chiefly of corporate records relating to Reginald Ashley Caton and the Fortune Press (London, England) between 1896 and 1974. Includes correspondence, invoices, receipts, handwritten production expenses, financial statements, and printed ephemera.

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Arrangement note

This collection is arranged in a single series with miscellaneous materials located at the end of the series.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries 2013

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions apply.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Fortune Press (London, England)

Subject(s)

  • Book industries and trade -- England -- London
  • Businesses and Corporations
  • Literature
  • Publishers and Publishing
  • Publishers and publishing -- England

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Bibliography

Smith, Timothy d'Arch. R. A. Caton and the Fortune Press: a Memoir and a Hand List. London: Bertram Rota, 1983.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Correspondence 1896-1974 

1 1

Invoices and receipts 1929-1935 

1 2

Production expenses and financial statements, etc. 1927-1935 

1 3

Printed ephemera undated 

1 4

Prospectus circa 1927 

1 5

Miscellaneous items circa 1900-1931 

1 6