André Deutsch

André Deutsch CBE (15 November 1917 11 April 2000) was a British publisher who founded an eponymous publishing company in 1951.[1]

André Deutsch

Born(1917-11-15)15 November 1917
Died11 April 2000(2000-04-11) (aged 82)
London, England


Deutsch was born on 15 November 1917 in Budapest, Hungary, the son of a Jewish dentist.[2] He attended school in Budapest and in Vienna, Austria. The Anschluss led to him fleeing Austria because he was Jewish, and in 1939 he settled in Britain,[1] where he worked as floor manager at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.[2] When Hungary entered the Second World War on the side of the Germans in 1941, Deutsch was interned for some weeks as an "enemy alien".[2][3]

After having learned the business of publishing while working for Francis Aldor (Aldor Publications, London), with whom he had been interned on the Isle of Man and who had introduced him to the industry, Deutsch left Aldor's employment after a few months to continue his burgeoning publishing career with the firm of Nicholson & Watson.[3] After the war Deutsch started his first company, Allan Wingate, but after a few years was forced out by one of his directors, Anthony Gibb.[1] André Deutsch Limited began trading in 1952.[4]

His small but influential publishing house ran until the 1990s, and included books by Jack Kerouac, Wole Soyinka, Earl Lovelace, Norman Mailer, George Mikes, V. S. Naipaul, Ogden Nash, Andrew Robinson, Philip Roth, Art Spiegelman, John Updike, Margaret Atwood, Charles Gidley Wheeler, Helene Hanff, Peter Benchley, Leon Uris, Molly Keane, Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake, John Cunliffe, and Ludwig Bemelmans.[5] Deutsch employed dedicated editor Diana Athill, who in 1952 was a founding director of the publishing company that was given his name (and who in her memoir Stet described him as "possibly the most difficult man in London").[6] A number of book series were established including The Language Library,[7][8] Grafton Books (works on librarianship, bibliography and book collecting)[9] and the Introduces guides.[10][11]

In the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours Deutsch was appointed a CBE[12]

He died in London on 11 April 2000, aged 82.

Author John le Carré based his recurring character Toby Esterhase on Deutsch, both in physical appearance and in replicating Deutsch's unique manner of speech:

When David [i.e. Le Carré] came to write his novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, he would draw on Deutsch for his character Toby Esterhase, who like his original would speak his own form of English.

Adam Sisman, John Le Carré: the Biography[13]

Current imprint

The name "André Deutsch" is now an imprint of Carlton Publishing Group, which purchased the company from Video Collection International Plc.

See also


  1. Calder, John (12 April 2000). "Obituary: André Deutsch". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  2. Lyall, Sarah, "Andre Deutsch, 82, Publisher Who Invigorated British Scene", The New York Times, 14 April 2000.
  3. Attallah, Naim, "No Longer With Us: André Deutsch" (including interview with Deutsch from Singular Encounters),, 5 July 2010.
  4. Athill, Diana. "André Deutsch: The Great Persuader", p. 33 in Abel and Graham (2009). Article originally published in Logos 14/4, 2003, pp. 174–80; preview at Brill.
  5. "Andre Deutsch CBE", Andre Deutsch.Com.
  6. Meany, Helen, "Deutsch courage", The Irish Times, 23 September 2000.
  7. The Language Library (Andre Deutsch) - Book Series List, Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  8. "English Words", The Guardian, 13 July 1954, p. 4.
  9. A Grafton Book, Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  10. Introduces (Andre Deutsch) - Book Series List, Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  11. Gillon, Diana and Meir, "Mutually inscrutable", The Guardian, 12 November 1965, p. 9.
  12. "C.B.E.", Supplement to the Royal Gazette, 17 June 1989, p. B37.
  13. Sisman, Adam (2015). John Le Carré: the Biography. London: Bloomsbury. p. 314. ISBN 978-1-4088-2792-5.

Further reading

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