Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd (established 1949), often shortened to W&N or Weidenfeld, is a British publisher of fiction and reference books. It has been a division of the French-owned Orion Publishing Group since 1991.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Parent companyOrion Publishing Group
FounderGeorge Weidenfeld and Nigel Nicolson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsHistory, biography, celebrity, fiction, illustrated books.
Fiction genres
  • Fiction
  • non-fiction
Official websiteorionbooks.co.uk


George Weidenfeld and Nigel Nicolson founded Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 1949 with a reception at Brown's Hotel, London.[1][2] Among many other significant books, it published Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (1959) and Nicolson's Portrait of a Marriage (1973), a frank biography of his mother Vita Sackville-West and father Harold Nicolson. In its early years Weidenfeld also published nonfiction works by Isaiah Berlin, Hugh Trevor-Roper, and Rose Macaulay, and novels by Mary McCarthy and Saul Bellow. Later it published titles by world leaders and historians, along with contemporary fiction and glossy illustrated books.[3][4] Weidenfeld & Nicolson acquired the publisher Arthur Baker Ltd in 1959, and ran it as an imprint into the 1990s.[5]

Weidenfeld was one of Orion's first acquisitions after the group's founding in 1991, and formed the core of its offerings. At that time Weidenfeld imprints included Phoenix, its own much earlier establishment; and J. M. Dent, acquired in 1988 along with its Everyman series. Orion was acquired in turn by Hachette Livre in 1998.[6] The hardcover rights to Everyman Library were sold in 1991, and survive as a Random House property; paperbacks of Everyman Classics continued under Orion. In January 2002, Cassell imprints, including the Cassell Reference and Cassell Military were joined with the Weidenfeld imprints to form a new division under the name of Weidenfeld & Nicolson.[7]

Late in 2013, W&N published the British edition (and Hachette subsidiary Little, Brown the American edition) of I Am Malala, the memoir of Pakistani-born teenager Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. Yousafzai is a female education activist, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2014.[8][9]

Book series


  1. "About Orion". Orion Publishing Group. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  2. Pick, Hella (20 January 2016). "Lord Weidenfeld obituary". The Guardian.
  3. A brief history, "Weidenfeld & Nicolson".
  4. "About Orion". The Orion Publishing Group. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  5. "FOB: Firms Out of Business". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  6. A brief history, "Foundation".
  7. "A Brief History of Orion Publishing Group". Orion Publishing Group. n.d. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  8. "Shot Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai writing book" Archived 2013-03-31 at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press (London). 28 March 2013. MSN News (msn.org). Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  9. "Formats and Editions of I am Malala". WorldCat. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  10. Illustrated Novel Library, owu.edu. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  11. The Lives Series (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Book Series List, publishinghistory.com. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  12. Pleasures and Treasures (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Book Series List, publishinghistory.com. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  13. The Young Historian Books (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) – Book Series List, publishinghistory.com. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  14. World University Library (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) – Book Series List, publishinghistory.com. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
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