Holbrook Jackson  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

George Holbrook Jackson (31 December 1874 – 16 June 1948) was a British journalist, writer and publisher. He was recognised as one of the leading bibliophiles of his time, author of such books as The Anatomy of Bibliomania (1930) and The Fear of Books (1932). He edited The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear (Faber & Faber, 1947) .


Holbrook Jackson was born in Liverpool, England. He worked as a clerk, while freelancing as a writer. Around 1900 he was in the lace trade in Leeds, where he met A. R. Orage; together they founded the Leeds Arts Club. At that time Jackson was a Fabian socialist, but also influenced by Nietzsche. It was Jackson who introduced Orage to Nietzsche, lending him a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in 1900.

Later they separately moved to London as journalists. In 1906, shortly after arriving in the capital, Jackson suggested founding a similar group to the Leeds Arts Club, the Fabian Arts Group. This eventually led to a split from the Fabian Society, whose interest was economic and political. In 1907, Jackson and Orage bought The New Age, a struggling Christian Socialist weekly magazine, with finance from Lewis Wallace and George Bernard Shaw.

Initially Jackson and Orage co-edited, with Jackson setting the editorial line with Cecil Chesterton and Clifford Sharp (later the editor of the New Statesman). In 1908 Jackson left and Orage continued as sole editor. Around this time, Orage's wife left him for Jackson, but refused to divorce Orage.

From 1911 Jackson had an editorial position on T. P. O'Connor's T.P.'s Weekly, a newspaper with a strong literary emphasis. He took over as editor from Wilfred Whitten in 1914. Later he bought the publication, and converted it into his own literary magazine, To-Day, which was published 1917 to 1923, when it merged with Life and Letters.

At the same period he set up in 1912 or 1913 the Flying Fame Press, with the poet Ralph Hodgson and designer Claud Lovat Fraser. This was the beginning of a long association with small press and the worlds of typography and book collecting, on which he wrote extensively. He was in the short-lived Fleuron Society (1923) with Stanley Morison, Francis Meynell, Bernard Newdigate and Oliver Simon. He did more, as a patron of the Pelican Press amongst others, to encourage the raising of production standards of books.

After World War I Jackson introduced Orage to C. H. Douglas, who subsequently wrote economics articles for The New Age, expounding his theory of Social Credit.

In popular culture

James Joyce singled out Jackson to Sylvia Beach as someone who "resembles" Leopold Bloom.


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Holbrook Jackson" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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