Edward Garnett
Edward Garnett was an English writer, critic and a significant and personally generous literary editor, who was instrumental in getting D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation...

's Sons and Lovers
Sons and Lovers
Sons and Lovers is a 1913 novel by the English writer D. H. Lawrence. The Modern Library placed it ninth on their list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century.-Plot introduction and history:...

published. His father Richard Garnett
Richard Garnett
Richard Garnett C.B. was a scholar, librarian, biographer and poet. He was son of Richard Garnett, an author, philologist and assistant keeper of printed books in the British Museum....

 (1835-1906) was a writer and librarian at the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

. His wife was Constance Garnett
Constance Garnett
Constance Clara Garnett was an English translator of nineteenth-century Russian literature...

, known for her translations of Russian literature
Russian literature
Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union...

; the writer David Garnett
David Garnett
David Garnett was a British writer and publisher. As a child, he had a cloak made of rabbit skin and thus received the nickname "Bunny", by which he was known to friends and intimates all his life.-Early life:...

 was their son.

Garnett had only a few years formal education at the City of London School
City of London School
The City of London School is a boys' independent day school on the banks of the River Thames in the City of London, England. It is the brother school of the City of London School for Girls and the co-educational City of London Freemen's School...

, leaving at the age of 16, but he educated himself further by reading widely. He gained a high reputation at the time for a mixture of good sense and sensitivity in relation to contemporary literature. His influence through his encouragement of leading authors exceeded by far that of his own writing. His literary contacts and correspondents spread far and wide, from Petr Kropotkin to Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas may refer to:People:*Edward Beers Thomas, American judge*Edward J. Thomas , librarian and author of several books on the history of Buddhism*Edward Lloyd Thomas, Confederate American Civil War general...


He worked as an editor and reader
Publisher's reader
A publisher's reader or first reader is a person paid by a publisher or book club to read manuscripts from the slush pile, and to advise their employers as to quality and marketability of the work. They can exercise considerable influence over the offerings of the publishers for whom they worked,...

 for the London publishing houses of T. Fisher Unwin
T. Fisher Unwin
T. Fisher Unwin was the London publishing house owned by Thomas Fisher Unwin and founded by him in 1882.The latterly more famous Stanley Unwin started his career by coming to work in his uncle's firm...

, Gerald Duckworth and Company, and then Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape was a London-based publisher founded in 1919 as "Page & Co" by Herbert Jonathan Cape , formerly a manager at Duckworth who had worked his way up from a position of bookshop errand boy. Cape brought with him the rights to cheap editions of the popular author Elinor Glyn and sales of...

. He brought together in 1898 Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist.Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, although he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties...

, an Unwin author to whom he acted as a mentor as well as a friend, and Ford Madox Ford
Ford Madox Ford
Ford Madox Ford was an English novelist, poet, critic and editor whose journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, were instrumental in the development of early 20th-century English literature...

; they collaborated in the first few years of the twentieth century. Garnett befriended D. H. Lawrence, and for a time influenced him in the direction of realist fiction. He also had a role in getting T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

's work published. One of his failures was to turn down for Duckworth James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialised in the magazine The Egoist from 1914 to 1915, and published first in book format in 1916 by B. W. Huebsch, New York. The first English edition was published by the Egoist Press in February 1917...

, in 1915. He was a strong supporter of John Galsworthy
John Galsworthy
John Galsworthy OM was an English novelist and playwright. Notable works include The Forsyte Saga and its sequels, A Modern Comedy and End of the Chapter...

, and The Man of Property in the Forsyte Saga was dedicated to him. He also championed American writers Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane was an American novelist, short story writer, poet and journalist. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism...

 and Robert Frost
Robert Frost
Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and...

 and Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

's Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer"...

, and helped the Irish writer Liam O'Flaherty
Liam O'Flaherty
Liam O'Flaherty was a significant Irish novelist and short story writer and a major figure in the Irish literary renaissance, born August 28, 1896, died September 7, 1984.-Biography:...


His play The Breaking Point was not allowed a licence for dramatic performance in London under the censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 system of the time (Lord Chamberlain
Lord Chamberlain
The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is one of the chief officers of the Royal Household in the United Kingdom and is to be distinguished from the Lord Great Chamberlain, one of the Great Officers of State....

's office). Its publication was permitted, and in 1907 Garnett published the play, which dealt with an unmarried mother
Single parent
Single parent is a term that is mostly used to suggest that one parent has most of the day to day responsibilities in the raising of the child or children, which would categorize them as the dominant caregiver...

, together with an open letter to the censor. The letter was in fact written by the critic William Archer
William Archer (critic)
William Archer , Scottish critic, was born in Perth, and was educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he received the degree of M.A. in 1876. He was the son of Thomas Archer....

. This was one battle in a campaign being waged at the time, under the generalship of Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

, to free the stage.


  • An Imaged World (1894)
  • The Art of Winnifred Matthews (1902)
  • The Breaking Point, a Censured Play. With Preface and a Letter to the Censor (1907)
  • Hogarth (1911)
  • Tolstoy: His Life and Writings (1914)
  • The great war in 1916, a neutral's indictment (1917) with Louis Raemaekers
    Louis Raemaekers
    Louis Raemaekers was a Dutch painter and cartoonist for the Amsterdam Telegraaf during World War I, noted for his anti-German stance....

    , H. Perry Robinson, and M. B. Huish
  • Turgenev (1917) biography
  • Papa's War and Other Satires (1918)
  • Friday Nights; Literary Criticisms and Appreciations (1922)
  • Letters from W. H. Hudson, 1901-1922 (1923) editor
  • Letters from Joseph Conrad 1895-1924 (1928) editor
  • The trial of Jeanne d' Arc and other plays (1931)
  • Letters from John Galsworthy 1900-1932 (1934) editor
  • Edward Thomas: A selection of letters to Edward Garnett (1981 reprint)
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