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Gerald Duckworth

Gerald Duckworth

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Gerald de l'Etang Duckworth (born 1870, died 28 September 1937, Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

) was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...


Background and early life

Duckworth was a son of Herbert Duckworth, a London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

, by his wife Julia Jackson. His middle name, de l'Etang, was the surname of one of his mother's ancestor
An ancestor is a parent or the parent of an ancestor ....

s, Antoine de l'Etang, a page to Queen Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette ; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was an Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France and of Navarre. She was the fifteenth and penultimate child of Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I....

. His mother was a niece of Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes....

, the photographer, after whom she was named.

Duckworth's father died before his birth, and when he was eight his mother married the author Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
Sir Leslie Stephen, KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.-Life:...

, and had four more children: Virginia Stephen, later the author Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

, the painter Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury group, and the sister of Virginia Woolf.- Biography and art :...

, and two sons, Thoby
Thoby Stephen
Julian Thoby Stephen , known as the Goth, was the elder brother of several members of the Bloomsbury Group, namely his sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf and his younger brother Adrian....

 and Adrian Stephen
Adrian Stephen
Adrian Stephen was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, an author and psychoanalyst, and the brother of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell...

. Woolf eventually accused Gerald and his elder brother, George
George Herbert Duckworth
Sir George Herbert Duckworth CB FSA was an English public servant.-Early life and family:The son of Herbert Duckworth, a barrister, of Orchardleigh Park, Somerset, by his marriage to Julia Princep Jackson, a niece of the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, Duckworth had a brother, Gerald, who...

, of having sexually abused
Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. When that force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or molester...

 her and Vanessa when they were children and teenagers. Nevertheless, Woolf published her first two novels with her brother's help before forming the Hogarth Press
Hogarth Press
The Hogarth Press was founded in 1917 by Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf. It was named after their house in Richmond, in which they began hand-printing books....


Gerald Duckworth was educated at Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and Clare College, Cambridge
Clare College, Cambridge
Clare College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1326, making it the second-oldest surviving college of the University after Peterhouse. Clare is famous for its chapel choir and for its gardens on "the Backs"...



In 1898, Duckworth founded the publishing company which bears his name, Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd
Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd
-History:Founded in 1898 by Gerald Duckworth, Duckworth is an independent British publisher. It was important in the development of English literature in the first half of the twentieth century, being the publisher of figures such as Virginia Woolf , W. H. Davies, Anthony Powell, John Galsworthy...

, in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. In his first year, 1898-1899, he published Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

's In the Cage
In the Cage
"In the Cage" is also a song by progressive rock group Genesis off their 1974 album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.In the Cage is a novella by Henry James, first published as a book in 1898. This long story centers on an unnamed London telegraphist...

; Leslie Stephen
Leslie Stephen
Sir Leslie Stephen, KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.-Life:...

's English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century; Jocelyn by John Sinjohn, a nom-de-plume 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...

; a translation of August Strindberg
August Strindberg
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography,...

's Der Vater; and Mother Goose in Prose, the first children's book by L. Frank Baum and the first book illustrated by Maxfield Parrish (Baum's most famous work The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in Chicago just a year later).

Edward Garnett
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's Sons and Lovers published. His father Richard Garnett was a writer and librarian at the British Museum...

 (whose son David would marry Duckworth's niece Angelica Bell) was Duckworth's reader for nearly twenty years. The firm published W. H. Hudson, Charles M. Doughty, 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...

, Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...

, Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

, and most of the work of Edith Sitwell
Edith Sitwell
Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell DBE was a British poet and critic.-Background:Edith Sitwell was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the oldest child and only daughter of Sir George Sitwell, 4th Baronet, of Renishaw Hall; he was an expert on genealogy and landscaping...

, Osbert Sitwell
Osbert Sitwell
Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Baronet, was an English writer. His elder sister was Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell and his younger brother was Sir Sacheverell Sitwell; like them he devoted his life to art and literature....

, and Sacheverell Sitwell
Sacheverell Sitwell
Sir Sacheverell Sitwell, 6th Baronet CH was an English writer, best known as an art critic and writer on architecture, particularly the baroque. He was the younger brother of Dame Edith Sitwell and Sir Osbert Sitwell....

. It published all 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...

's plays between 1909 and 1929.

In 1929, Galsworthy was shocked that Duckworth required him to sign all 1,250 copies of a limited edition of his collected plays. But when told he would get a royalty of 15s. 9d. per copy, he set up his watch and said: "Let's see how long it takes me to earn £984 7s. 6d."

Anthony Powell
Anthony Powell
Anthony Dymoke Powell CH, CBE was an English novelist best known for his twelve-volume work A Dance to the Music of Time, published between 1951 and 1975....

 became Duckworth's literary editor in 1926, and the publishers Judkins & Judkins in his novel What's become of Waring? (1939) are modelled on Duckworth's.

Duckworth died in 1937, but the firm continued to thrive. It marked its centenary in 1998, but ran into financial troubles in 2003. It was then bought out by Peter Mayer
Peter Mayer
Peter M. Mayer is an American independent publisher who is president of The Overlook Press/Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc., a Woodstock, New York - based publishing company he founded with his father in 1971. At the time of Overlook’s founding, Mayer was head of Avon Books, a large New York - based...

, though it continues to publish under the name of Duckworth.

Three portraits of Duckworth are held by the National Portrait Gallery.


On 2 March 1921, Duckworth married Cecil Alice Scott-Chad (born 1891), the daughter of Charles Scott-Chad, a barrister. They had no children.

Duckworth's older brother Sir George Herbert Duckworth (1868–1934) was private secretary to Austen Chamberlain
Austen Chamberlain
Sir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, KG was a British statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and half-brother of Neville Chamberlain.- Early life and career :...

 and was the grandfather of Anthony Duckworth-Chad
Anthony Duckworth-Chad
Anthony Nicholas George Duckworth-Chad OBE DL , of Pynkney Hall, near King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, is a landowner, City of London business man, and a senior county officer for Norfolk.-Education :...

. His sister Stella (1869–1897) married John Waller Hills, but died three months later.

External links