Estimated to date from 1919, this rare publisher’s flyer was created by Virginia and Leonard Woolf to advertise the Hogarth Press. The Woolfs established their small publishing house in 1917 at their home in Richmond. By hand they designed, printed and bound books of poetry, short stories and, from the 1920s, novels.

Establishing the Hogarth Press

In March 1917, the Woolfs walked along Farringdon Street, London, and purchased a printing machine, materials and an instruction booklet from Excelsior Printing Supply Company. The purchase was impulsive, but they had been discussing the idea of setting up a printing press since autumn 1916. Although the Woolfs were enthusiastic and absorbed by the work, their first publication, Two Stories, shows some signs of amateurism such as irregular spacing and blotted ink. As Hermione Lee highlights in her 1997 biography of Virginia Woolf, however, the Woolfs quickly developed into professional printers.