BRACERS Record Detail for 48706

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Collection code
Recent acquisition no.
Box no.
Source if not BR
George Allen and Unwin Ltd.
Allen and Unwin
Unwin, Stanley
Russell, Frank
BR via
Form of letter

Letter 21
BRACERS 48706. TLS. Reading
Previous Brixton letter, BRACERS 19326; next letter, BRACERS 19316
Edited by K. Blackwell, A. Bone, N. Griffin and S. Turcon

18 June 1918.

Stanley Unwin Esq.

Dear Sir,

I saw Bertrand Russell yesterday on the result of your interview,2 and I now return the Agreement3 filled in. It is understood that Clause 10 and the few words at the end of Clause 7 go in. He would prefer the word “Serial” left out, but at the same time he adds that if the book is published in any sort of reasonable time he would not wish to do anything with the serial rights. He will probably be able to let you have the book before October.4 Would you be so good as to send me two typed copies of the Agreement signed by you, when I will sign one on his behalf and return it to you.

With regard to Roads to Freedom he was much relieved to hear that the action of Lippincott5 would not interfere with your publication here. He had already himself thought of the Century Company,6 and enthusiastically welcomed your suggestion. He would be much obliged if you would write to the Century Company and conduct the negotiations, at the same time advising Lippincott. He thinks Lippincott should be told that they ordered this particular kind of book, that they were fully acquainted with his view on Socialism and have therefore no reason to be surprised, and morally have not a leg to stand upon. He thinks therefore that they ought to surrender the whole of their rights to the Century Company without asking for anything for themselves out of it.

Yours truly,

2 Encls.a

  • 1

    [document] The letter, written and signed by Frank Russell on BR’s behalf, was edited from a photocopy in the Russell Archives of the typed original in the Allen & Unwin archives at the University of Reading.

  • 2

    your interview This suggests, in the absence of other possibilities, that Stanley Unwin visited BR in Brixton, perhaps during the week of 12 June when Colette and Elizabeth were BR’s only other known visitors.

  • 3

    the Agreement The draft agreement was for Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy and is in the Allen & Unwin files (photocopy in RA Rec. Acq. 70, box 6.43). Clause 10 concerned the “American, Colonial, Continental, Foreign, translation and serial rights”. The percentage to be paid the author, 90%, was inserted in Frank’s hand. BR annotated the royalty scale in clause 7: “Should start at 15%, rising to 17½% after 1500 and 20% after 3000”. He annotated clause 16, concerning the advance on royalties: “The whole £50 should be payable on delivery of the MS.” It was so paid; see Letter 98 and note 3.

  • 4

    let you have the book before October In fact, Unwin had it by at least 3 September 1918 (note 3 to Letter 98).

  • 5

    Roads to Freedom ... the action of Lippincott The J.B. Lippincott Company had contracted with BR on 11 October 1917 for a book then entitled Three Types of Radicalism: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism, to be delivered within six months from that date. He decided in February 1918 to write the book before he entered prison, and did write it. Stanley Unwin had read it by his letter of 15 April 1918 (BRACERS 50641). Lippincott had reviewed the typed manuscript by 23 May 1918 (their letter, BRACERS 48708), which by then bore the title Three Roads to Freedom. They told BR they could not publish it “on account of present conditions”, which meant, in their terms, Americans’ antipathy to socialism. Nor would the treatment of the subject “pass censorship”: “we cannot bring out the book while the war continues and that ordinary revisions would not be sufficient to overcome the objections.” By this time Unwin was setting the book into type. Despite BR’s entreaties, Lippincott had not secured a replacement American publisher, and now Allen & Unwin appeared to be its only publisher. See also Letter 23.

  • 6

    Century Company Century was the US publisher of Why Men Fight (1917), the American title of Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916). The eventual US publisher of Roads to Freedom was Henry Holt, who entitled it Proposed Roads to Freedom (1919).

  • 7

    Russell BR himself, after he succeeded to the earldom in 1931, used this simple but formally correct form of the Earl Russell’s name to sign applications, wills, etc.

Textual Notes
  • a

    2 Encls. Altered by hand from “Encl.”

Transcription Public Access
Record no.
Record created
Apr 20, 1993
Record last modified
Jul 01, 2023
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