October 21st Grant Richards (Birth)




Franklin Thomas Grant Richards (1872 – 1942) was the son of the botanist Franklin Thomas Richards, Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford who spent every summer vacation in Cadgwith.

One of Franklin Richards' undergraduates was Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch ‘Q’ (May 12th) and it was on one such reading vacation that Q was inspired to write his first novel, ‘The Roll Call of the Reef’. 

Grant Richards did not excel at school and left at the age of fifteen to work in a publisher’s warehouse but soon moved to work at  ‘The Review of the Reviews’ through which he came to know many famous writers. 

Inspired by his contacts, Richards established himself as a publisher.  Despite suffering two bankruptcies, he introduced Joyce to the literary world, publishing ‘Dubliners’, and was also the first publisher of Alec Waugh and Vera Brittain.  He published Brittain’s first two novels, ‘The Dark Tide’ (1923) and ‘Halcyon: Or, The Future of Monogamy’ (1929) and also published ‘The Sands of Pleasure’, the scandalous novel of Filson Young (June 5th).  

Richards worked closely with Filson Young and Father Bernard Walke (June 25th) to produce ‘Bethlehem’, reputedly the first outside broadcast of a play by the BBC (Christmas Eve, 1927). 

He lived on the Lizard Peninsula for many years and, perhaps, most extraordinarily, his first wife, Elisina Palamidessi de Castelvecchio (1878–1959) was a descendant of Napoleon’s brother, King Louis of Holland (1806 – 1810).



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