THE hard core of the suc cess of Geoffrey Chapman Ltd., publishers, is the fact that it is based on performance. When the company was formed in 1957 it required heavy financial backing from a bank, but since then it has never looked back.
Catholic-publishing was at a very low ebb in those days. Today's frank, open dialogue between clergy and laymen was only beginning to emerge. Today, also, all major Catholic pUblishing houses have entered the lists of general publishing. Geoffrey Chapman Ltd. have now got a strong educational department which is concentrating on general textbooks for junior and middle schools.
The publishing house of Geoffrey Chapman claims that it owes its success to its rigid policy of maintaining a high standard, editorially, and to good selling across the list.
The list bas always been recognised for the numbers of works of strong theological content. A series of reference works on Scriptures is particularly noteworthy. Among these are: Dictionary of Biblical Theology, edited under the direction of Xavier LeonDufour — the result of four years' work by over 70 well-known scholars: Dictionary of the Bible, by John L. McKenzie — a one-volume Bible dictionary of over 800,000 words; The Jerome Bible Commentary, edited by Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer and Roland E. Murphy, with a foreword by Augustin Cardinal Bea.
The 80 Roman Catholic scholars who contribute to the book frankly acknowledge their indebtedness to nonCatholic research, and are fully aware of the ecumenical thrust of biblical studies.
The latest important addition to the list is The New Lectionary, promulgated in Rome to come into operation from the first Sunday of Advent, 1969.
The first printing of this
official English version is already completely sold out.
The Bookseller says of Geoffrey Chapman Ltd.: "Theologically, spiritually and liturgically, the company has been at pains to cater for the needs of the intelligent Catholic layman. They have also been extremely vigorous in their approach to exports. Fundamen
tally, the company sells abroad by extensive overseas travel. Last year, for example, it spent over £10,000 on travel overseas."
If Geoffrey Chapman Ltd. was (in the best sense of the word) romantic in its origins, it has been extremely realistic in the attainment of its high aspirations.