This Folio Life: Shared ideals of the printed word

London Library A. S. Byatt’s novel of literary detection and connection, Possession, starts out on one of the upper floors of the London Library (left), which is where I find myself as I write this, the first missive in the This Folio Life series. In that great novel (one of the first I worked on in my own Folio life) Byatt’s protagonist makes a discovery amongst the library’s papers which brings the life and work of two Victorian poets to dazzling life. Their poetry is imagined and energised through Byatt’s intense, spooling narrative. This, in a nutshell, is what we at Folio attempt every day - to make discoveries, to bring new life to books, to show their continued relevance - above all to ensure that books which should be read are still being read. And, like Byatt herself and her characters, we often find ourselves making use of the labyrinthine London Library to do so. At its best Folio is a community of shared ideals about what the printed book might be. It is also a community of ideas - the diverse and wondrous ideas to be found between those beautiful covers. Many of the best Folio productions over the years have started off from the suggestion of a reader - whether it be the notion that we might be able to fulfil Faulkner’s vision of a colorised Sound and the Fury; another noticing that Ronald Blythe’s glittering Age of Illusion had somehow found its way out of print; or - and this is one for later in the year - that we might want to take a look at A. A. Milne’s crime writings. The Sound and the Fury Folio is still a society at its heart, and the list is by its customers as much as it is for them. I hope the This Folio Life blog will be a forum for you to see our publishing discussions and bring your own ideas. Tom Walker Editorial Director, 11 March 2016 The Folio Society, Eagle Street