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CP - Charles Pick Archive

Reference code
Level of description
Charles Pick Archive
Quantity & Format
10 series Mixed
Personal name
Pick, Charles, 1917-2000
Authors and publishers
Publishers and publishing
Heinemann (firm)
Michael Joseph Ltd
Pan Books (firm)
Octopus Books Limited
Pick, Charles, 1917-2000
Scope and content
Charles Pick (1917-2000) began his publishing career at the age of 16 when he started work with Victor Gollancz in 1933.

The collection contains the business papers of CP who retired in 1985 as Managing Director of both William Heinemann Ltd and the Heinemann Group of Publishers Ltd. Correspondence with colleagues and competitors provide insight into the workings and characters of the publishing world across three decades, from the early 60s to the late 80s.

The collection contains files pertaining to individual authors, most notably, Anita Desai, Monica Dickens, Paul Gallico, Richard Gordon and Graham Greene.

The publishing files include the business files of the publishing company Michael Joseph Ltd, of William Heinemann Ltd, the Heinemann Group and its parent company Thomas Tilling Ltd.

Business papers cover sales, turnover and profits and various publishing ventures. These include the attempted takeover of Jonathan Cape Ltd by CP, Peter Hebdon and Roland Gant; Heinemann’s book club venture; the “Pickles” editions (Octopus/Heinemann hardback collections); and Pan paperback publishing by joint owners: Heinemann, Collins and Macmillan.

The papers reflect the various rescues, mergers, takeovers and successions within the Heinemann Group and the industry as a whole.

On his retirement from Heinemann, CP went on to set up his own consultancy to handle the affairs of Wilbur Smith as a first priority.

Later papers cover Charles Pick Consultancy and CP’s consultancy work for the Octopus Publishing Group Plc., 1985-88.

Personal papers include correspondence, invitations and programmes to social events, and dictated memoirs.

The following have been catalogued to item level: CP/2/7 and CP/2/13.
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