Nicola Beauman

Nicola Beauman (née Mann, born 20 June 1944, London)[1] is a British biographer and journalist, and the founder of Persephone Books, an independent book publisher based in Bloomsbury, London.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Beauman attended St Paul's Girls' School and Newnham College in Cambridge.[3]


  • A Very Great Profession: The Woman's Novel, 1914–39, Virago (London), 1983.
  • Cynthia Asquith (biography), Hamilton (London), 1987.
  • Morgan: A Biography of the Novelist E. M. Forster, Hodder and Stoughton (London), 1993, Knopf (New York), 1994.
  • The Other Elizabeth Taylor, Persephone (London, England), 1993.

Persephone BooksEdit

Beauman's Persephone Books is a publishing house focusing primarily on female authors. Founded in 1998,[3] it is run from a shop in a Grade II listed building on Lamb's Conduit Street, in London's Bloomsbury.

According to The Guardian, Beauman founded Persephone Books to publish 'forgotten' novels by women, many of which she had written about in, A Very Great Profession: The Woman's Novel 1914-39, originally published by Virago in 1983 and reissued in 2008 by Persephone Books.[4] The books all come in a uniform grey cover, which Beauman sees as 'a guarantee of a good read'.[5]

In an interview with journalist Leonie Cooper, Beauman said that when she first started the press things were hard, "We had a lot of books piling up in the warehouse, but then we got a bestseller, which was phenomenally lucky."[6] That bestseller was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, which Persephone Books published in 2000. Since then Persephone Books has continued to publish several books a year, and currently has 115 titles in print, including novels by Dorothy Whipple, Virginia Woolf, R. C. Sherriff, Katherine Mansfield, and E. M. Delafield.


  1. ^ a b "Contemporary Authors Online". Biography in Context. Gale. 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Nicola Beauman". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "People of Today". Biography in Context. Gale. 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  4. ^ Cooke, Rachel (24 November 2012). "One shade of grey: how Nicola Beauman made an unlikely success of Persephone Books". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  5. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  6. ^ Cooper, Leonie (8 February 2008). "Books lost and found". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 March 2016.