Beatrice Davis and ‘The Sacredness of the Printed Word’


‘Beatrice Davis was the general editor for the Sydney publishing firm Angus & Robertson (A&R) from the late 1930s to the early 1970s and a central figure in the literary culture and production of books in Australia. In her role as publisher’s reader and head of A&R’s large general editorial department, her judgement of literary fiction held sway in Australian publishing for over three decades at a time when A&R was regarded as the pre-eminent publisher In addition, she was an office holder in the Australian English Association, a judge on the Bulletin’s S.H Prior Memorial Prize novel competition, and a judge on the Miles Franklin Award from its inception in 1957 to her death in 1992. Her dismissal from A&R in 1973 has been regarded as a symbolic moment in the transformations underway in publishing at that time. It is largely through Beatrice Davis that a new generation of book editors has come both to connect with a long tradition of editing and to measure the distance between that tradition and today’s editing context.’ (from Author’s introduction)

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Published 1 October 2012 in Volume 27 No. 3-4. Subjects: Australian publishers, Editors, Literary world.

Cite as: McDonald, Rowena. ‘Beatrice Davis and ‘The Sacredness of the Printed Word’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 3/4, 2012.