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Eyre & Spottiswoode

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Eyre & Spottiswoode, Ltd. was the London based printing firm that was the King's Printer, and subsequently, after April 1929, a publisher of the same name.


William Strahan established his printing house in London in 1739 and by 1769 had a share in both the King's Printing House and the Law Printing House. George Edward Eyre and William H Spottiswoode were printers to the Queen's most excellent majesty for Her Majesty's Stationery Office in 1875. Through his partnership with Charles Eyre and his son's with Robert Spottiswoode, the company now operates as Eyre & Spottiswood. Andrew Spottiswoode, was a family member of the firm.

Publication of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

2 Title Page - 166717 sp2f

Title page of the 1920 first British & English language edition of the Protocols of the [Learned] Elders of Zion

In 1920 the firm experienced the dubious distinction of being the first to publish, if not in the "King's English", at least in printed book form, the notorious antisemitic text, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with the additional title The Jewish Peril.

However, as Norman Cohn points out, a distinction is to be made between the printer and the publisher of the same name. The book, or rather pamphlet, shows it was published by "EYRE & SPOTTISWOODE, LTD."

  • "It seems that this edition of the Protocols was printed to private commission and therefore bears the imprint of the printers, Eyre & Spotiswoode Ltd[.], instead of a publisher's imprint. The firm of Eyre & Spotiswoode (Publishers) Ltd was not founded until April 1929." (Cohn 1996, footnote 4, pg 167)


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