‘A Folio Society edition is, I reckon, as excellent an accolade as any author can achieve these days’
STEPHEN FRY

Founded in London in 1947, The Folio Society publishes carefully crafted editions of the world’s finest literature. We believe that great books deserve to be presented in a form worthy of their contents. For nearly 70 years we have celebrated the unique joy to be derived from owning, holding and reading a beautiful printed edition.

Beautifully crafted, imaginative editions of the world’s great works of fiction and non-fiction, Folio Society books offer a rich literary experience to readers of all ages. The books we select for publication are timeless – we know they will be enjoyed and appreciated now and in the future. Because each book is considered as an individual object of value in its own right, there is a variety to our aesthetic – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single book.

The Folio Bookshop

If you are in London, come and visit The Folio Bookshop – the perfect opportunity to browse our books in peace and quiet, or chat to our friendly and knowledgeable staff; you'll always be very welcome.

The Folio Bookshop is situated in Holborn, in the heart of London.

Closest Tube Station: Holborn (Piccadilly & Central lines)

foliomap

Folio Bookshop map adapted from Google Maps click link to view.

 

‘Folio books force you to stop in your tracks and luxuriate in the experience of reading a superb edition’
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
1947
The Folio Society publishes its first book – Tales by Tolstoy, with pen-andink drawings by Elizabeth Macfadyen
1948
Gulliver’s Travels published with illustrations by Edward Bawden
1953
As You Like It published with lithographs by Salvador Dalí
1967
Travels with a Donkey published with illustrations by Edward Ardizzone
1977
Cold Comfort Farm published with illustrations by Quentin Blake
1982
Lord Robert Gavron buys the company
1993
Folio moves to 44 Eagle Street, Bloomsbury
1999
Publication of the complete works of Anthony Trollope is concluded
2002
The Kelmscott Chaucer published
2005
The Letterpress Hamlet published
2006
The Folio Society Gallery opens at the British Library
2011
Folio Society Book Illustration Competition is launched
2012
Publication of The Sound and the Fury printed with coloured inks
2013
Launch of The Folio Prize
‘Folio books are such joy... to be cherished, handled with pleasure, read and reread and handed down to the next generation.’
P.D. JAMES

A Folio book is a unique object, one in which typography, illustration, paper, and printing and binding techniques all play a part in creating a harmonious whole. The Folio Society has celebrated the particular joy to be derived from owning, holding and reading a beautiful printed edition. Our aim is to create books that are unique in their aesthetic and in their quality – this is what makes a Folio collection something to cherish.

In the digital age, information is served to us instantaneously. Success is measured by speed, and we can dispose of the written word at the click of a mouse. This is why Folio books are the perfect tonic. We offer the reader an opportunity to pause and reflect; to spend time appreciating beauty and wisdom. The books we select for publication are timeless – and in the editions we produce, they will be enjoyed and valued now and in generations to come.

Editorial expertise

Folio editors lavish care and attention on each individual book in a way that other publishing companies simply cannot afford to do. Because the range of books we publish is so diverse, so too is our approach. From choosing the best translations to negotiating revisions with authors; from fact-checking at specialist libraries across the world to emending textual imperfections, which often creep into modern editions of classic works, we aspire to give our members an enhanced experience of their favourite books. And for additional insight, we select introducers to act as the reader’s companion, whetting the appetite and setting the book and its author in context. Peter Ackroyd, Irvine Welsh, Colm Tóibín, Margaret Atwood, Tom Holland, Saul David, Jenny Uglow and Julian Barnes are just some of the acclaimed writers who have recently contributed to Folio publications.

All things typographical

At Folio an immense amount of creative energy is spent on typography. It should be pleasing to the eye, never intrusive and generously sized. Yet while the traditional virtues of legibility and elegance are paramount, there is also immense scope for inventiveness. Each typographical decision is carefully made to suit the character of the individual book.

The art of book illustration

Those who love Folio books know to look for the treasures within. We commission illustrations by emerging talents including Jonathan Burton, Jillian Tamaki, Sam Weber, and Anna and Elena Balbusso, or seasoned masters such as Quentin Blake, Paula Rego, John Vernon Lord and Tom Phillips. Wood engravings, paintings, collages, pen and ink, digital ... variety is at the heart of Folio’s remarkable catalogue of commissioned artwork. And in a celebrated range of non-fiction books, our team of picture researchers know how to unearth images that are truly worth a thousand words.

‘Books have been published for me since 1952; I have never seen one better turned out as a piece of typography and book production’
M. R. D. FOOT, AUTHOR OF SOE

Head and tail bands
We include decorative head and tail bands, and gilded or coloured top edges where we feel it is appropriate.

Slipcase
A distinctive feature of our books, and the traditional protective covering of fine editions.

Binding
Our bindings incorporate a complexity of design and materials which place them in a class of their own and require exceptional manufacturing standards. All of our books are sewn in 16-page sections, and, most importantly, are bound to the highest standard, so they not only look good on the shelf, but are a pleasure to read.

Printing
It is essential that the manufacturing process maintains the highest standards in every copy. Each book is carefully monitored for evenness of ink-weight and freedom from blemishes.

 

‘It is always a great day when I see a package from The Folio Society waiting on my door step in which I suddenly become like a child on Christmas morning.’
CASTILO MONTOYA, USA
2016

World Illustration Awards 2016
SHORTLISTED: Anne Marie Jones for A Farewell to Arms, Tim Laing for The Radetzky March, Sam Weber for Dune

V&A Awards 2016
Winner Best Book Cover Illustration: David McConochie for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories
Winner Illustrator of the Year: David McConochie for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories
SHORTLISTED: Simon Pemberton for Shackleton's Boat Journey, Tim Laing for The Radetzky March, David McConochie for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories

Design and Advertising Association Pencil Awards 2016
Winner Wood Pencil: Frank Herbert for Dune

2015

British Book Design and Production Awards
Winner Literature category: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
Winner Scholarly, Academic and Reference Books category: The Herefordshire Pomona

V&A Illustration Awards 2015
Winner Book Illustration Award and Overall Winner: Sterling Hundley - Treasure Island
SHORTLISTED: In Parenthesis, Life, the Universe and Everything, Treasure Island

2014

British Book Design and Production Awards
SHORTLISTED: Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, The Alexander Trilogy, The Day of the Jackal and The Princess and the Goblin

American Illustration 33, 2014 annual
SELECTED FOR INCLUSION: The Day of the Jackal – Tatsuro Kiuchi

Association of Illustrators 2014
SHORTLISTED: Drowned World, Alexander Trilogy, 20,000 Leagues, Life, the Universe and Everything, Dynasties of China. WINNER: Geoff Grandfield Professional Book Illustration Award, Alexander Trilogy.

V&A awards – 2014
SHORTLISTED: Brave New World - Illustrated Book, Sons & Lovers - WINNER Best Illustrated Book Cover.

DISTINGUISHED MERIT 3X3 INTERNATIONAL PROSHOW NO.11
"Pride and Prejudice" illustrated book, 5 images – Anna and Elena Balbusso

2014 COMMUNICATION ARTS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
WINNER BOOK CATEGORY: "Pride and Prejudice" by J. Austen, The Folio Society 2013. - Anna and Elena Balbusso

2013

Longman-History Today Awards
Winner of Historical Picture Researcher of the Year – Cathie Arrington, for Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

The Society of Illustrators
Professional award for design – Jonathan Burton, Odds & Bods Playing Cards. (His design was also given the Overall Professional prize, the highest award of the evening.)

3x3 The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration
Five of our illustrators have been awarded a merit in the book category of the prestigious 3x3 Professional Show No.10, hosted in the USA

V&A Book Illustration Award
Winner of Book Category – Anna and Elena Balbusso, Eugene Onegin

Association of Illustrators Illustration Awards Design Category Winner – Jonathan Burton, Odds & Bods Playing Cards

Society of Indexers
Wheatley Medal Winner – Gerard Hill, Hannibal

Society of Illustrators 55, Book Category (US)
Gold medal – Anna and Elena Balbusso, for ‘Tatyana’, Eugene Onegin Gold medal – Raquel Leis Allion for Art Direction, Eugene Onegin

Society of Illustrators 55, Sequential/Series (US)
Silver medal – Jonathan Burton, Odds & Bods Playing Cards Silver medal – Sheri Gee for Art Direction Communication Arts Award for Excellence – Anna and Elena Balbusso, Eugene Onegin

2012

British Book Awards
The Folio Society was shortlisted for the Independent Publisher of the Year

British Book Design and Production Awards
Winner of the Limited Edition Category – Gulliver’s Travels Winner of the Literature Category – Fahrenheit 451

Society of Illustrators 54, Book Category (US)
Gold medal – Anna and Elena Balbusso, The Handmaid’s Tale Gold medal – Sheri Gee for Art Direction Silver medal – Sam Weber, Fahrenheit 451 Silver medal – Sheri Gee for Art Direction

Communication Arts
Award for Excellence – Anna and Elena Balbusso, The Handmaid’s Tale and First Love

Applied Arts Magazine
Award of Excellence 2012 Photography and Illustration Award – Anna and Elena Balbusso, The Handmaid’s Tale 78 The Folio Society Brand Book / Our brand identity / Awards

V&A Illustration Award
Best Illustrated Book Cover – Matthew Richardson, The Outsider

Longman-History Today Awards
Joint Winner of Historical Picture Researcher of the Year – Caroline Hotblack for Black Sea

2011

Association of Illustrators, Images 35, Books Category
Silver – Jonathan Burton, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

V&A Illustration Award
Shortlisted – A. Richard Allen, Brat Farrar

2010

D&AD Awards
In Book (bronze equivalent) – Sam Weber, Lord of the Flies

Association of Illustrators, Images 34, Books Category
Gold – Simon Pemberton, The Songlines Silver – Jonathan Burton, Cover Her Face Bronze – Niroot Puttapipat, Myths and Legends of Russia

V&A Illustration Award
Shortlisted – Alice Tait, Good Things; Sam Weber, Lord of the Flies; Tim Laing, Schindler’s Ark

3x3 Pro Show, Book Category
Silver – A. Richard Allen, Brat Farrar Merit – Jeff Fisher, The Hunting of the Snark; Daniel Haskett, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

Design Week Awards
Shortlisted – The Brown Fairy Book (Omar Rayyan), The Hunting of the Snark (Jeff Fisher), Lord of the Flies (Sam Weber), The Songlines (Simon Pemberton) and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Sara Ogilvie) (all books counted as one entry)

Longman-History Today Awards
Winner of Historical Picture Researcher of the Year – Julie McMahon for Stalingrad

2009

Association of Illustrators, Images 33, Books Category
Gold – Geoff Grandfield, Blackmailers Don’t Shoot Bronze – Swava Harasymowicz, Birdsong Shortlisted – Chris Corr, Mandarins; Clare Mackie, Bingo Boys & Poodle Fakers

V&A Illustration Award
Best Illustrated Book and Overall Winner – Tom Burns, The New York Trilogy Shortlisted – Swava Harasymowicz, Birdsong; Jonathan Burton, Cover Her Face; Bill Bragg, The Human Factor; Tom Burns, The New York Trilogy; Michael Kirkham, Zuleika Dobson

Design Week Awards
Editorial Design Category Winner – The Sea, The Sea, Tatsuro Kiuchi

2008

Association of Illustrators, Images 32, Books Category
Gold – Tom Burns, The New York Trilogy

Read on to see what members and customers, the press and authors say about us, our books and Folio membership.

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© The Folio Society 2016