The old joke goes that if you want to make a small fortune out of publishing, start off with a larger one.

Why? Because publishing is regarded as a notoriously uncertain business, constantly facing new threats to the vitality of the printed word. But one of the world's most illustrious independent publishing houses, London's Faber & Faber, has just turned 90 and to celebrate a long and vibrant history of highs, lows and literary triumphs, author Toby Faber (grandson of Faber's founder Geoffrey Faber) has written Faber & Faber: The Untold History of a Great Publishing House.

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