We were all saddened to hear the news that David St John Thomas, founder of David & Charles, has passed away.
David was in every sense an entrepreneur. As a pioneer of illustrated non-fiction books, he was amongst the first to sell to non traditional book retailers and forged international business at a time when export trade was more challenging than it is today. David understood the importance of having a direct relationship with the end customers that bought his books. This led him to acquire the Readers’ Union book club business and attach it to David & Charles publishing with tremendous success. Although we have now rebranded as F+W Media International, we continue to publish books under the imprint David & Charles.
Most importantly, his spirit of innovation and culture of ideas very much lives on in the business today.
I did not have the pleasure of working under David, but I was fortunate to meet him on two occasions. He remained interested in our business and had many stories to tell of the company history. From the days of the premises being above the ticket office at Newton Abbot railway station, to the various challenges of shipping books by rail and road across the UK and further afield.
We will strive to continue to create the great books that carry his name.