Thomas Werner Laurie

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Thomas Werner Laurie (1866–1944) was a London publisher of books that were avant-garde in some cases, racy in others.


Early life

Laurie was born in Edinburgh. His father was a Scot and his mother a German.


He founded his T. Werner Laurie Ltd. publishing house in 1904 [1] and was known for publishing the works of Yeats, Wilde, and Moore as well as others of lesser renown. He published The Jungle by Upton Sinclair when that work had been rejected for publication in England by other publishers, and Sinclair stayed with Laurie for many years in gratitude.

W. B. Yeats Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet and playwright, co-founder of Abbey Theatre

William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others.

Oscar Wilde 19th-century Irish poet, playwright and aesthete

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George Moore (novelist) Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist

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Other books issued in the firm's eclectic publishing programme included The Encyclopaedia of Sex and The History of Torture through the Ages. [1]

Book series published by the firm included T. Francis Bumpus's Cathedral Series, [2] the House Decoration Series, and The World's End and the Lanny Budd series of Upton Sinclair novels.

In 1946, after Laurie's death, his publishing firm was purchased by the financier Clarence Hatry and it continued to operate in premises above Hatchards booksellers at 187 Piccadilly, London, [1] with George Greenfield as the manager. [3] [4]

Clarence Charles Hatry (1888–1965) was a company promoter, financier, bankrupt, bookseller and publisher. The fall of the Hatry group in September 1929 is cited as a contributing factor to the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Hatchards bookshop in London

Hatchards is a branch of Waterstones, and claims to be the oldest bookshop in the United Kingdom, founded on Piccadilly in 1797 by John Hatchard. After one move, it has been at the same location on Piccadilly next to Fortnum and Mason since 1801, and the two stores are also neighbours in St. Pancras railway station as of 2014. It has a reputation for attracting high-profile authors and holds three Royal Warrants.

Piccadilly road in the City of Westminster, London, England

Piccadilly is a road in the City of Westminster, London to the south of Mayfair, between Hyde Park Corner in the west and Piccadilly Circus in the east. It is part of the A4 road that connects central London to Hammersmith, Earl's Court, Heathrow Airport and the M4 motorway westward. St James's is to the south of the eastern section, while the western section is built up only on the northern side. Piccadilly is just under 1 mile (1.6 km) in length, and is one of the widest and straightest streets in central London.

Personal life

Thomas Werner Laurie married twice. His second wife was (Elizabeth Mary) Beatrice (born 1895). [1] Their daughter, Joan Werner Laurie (1920–1964), edited She, a periodical for women.

Joan Ann Werner Laurie was an English book and magazine editor.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Laurie (married name Seyler), Joan Ann Werner (1920–1964), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online version). Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  2. The cathedrals of England and Wales / by T. Francis Bumpus Bumpus, T. Francis (Thomas Francis), Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  3. George Greenfield, A Smattering of Monsters: A Kind of Memoir, Camden House, 1995.
  4. Chris Swinson, Share Trading, Fraud and the Crash of 1929: A Biography of Clarence Hatry , Routledge, 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.