Tuesday, 3 September 2013

In Memoriam - Nick Robinson

Constable & Robinson has announced the death of chairman Nick Robinson.

Robinson died last Friday (30th August) aged 58, following a longstanding illness.

Robinson began his career as assistant editor at arts magazine Apollo in the late 1970s, before moving to Chatto & Windus and then Breslich and Foss.

He founded Robinson Publishing in 1983 where among his achievements was the pioneering of cognitive behavioural therapy self-help books. Fifteen of the Robinson Psychology Overcoming books were this year adopted nationally as part of the Books on Prescription scheme under NICE guidelines.

In 1999 Robinson merged the company with Britain’s oldest independent publisher Constable & Co to create Constable & Robinson. C&R said Robinson "brought new life to the Constable name, then propelled it into the 21st century with a series of innovations."
Constable & Robinson was named both Independent Publisher of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards and IPG Independent Publisher of the Year in 2012.

After gradually stepping back from the running of C&R from 2009 onwards to become chairman, Robinson served on the Publishers Association Council.

C&R m.d. Pete Duncan said: "Nick possessed a truly brilliant combination of instinctive decision-making, entrepreneurial business sense, and ultimate devotion to his staff. Outwardly patrician but privately deeply warm and grounded, he inspired confidence and loyalty in people wherever he went. I will miss him  enormously."

Author and friend Nicholas Shakespeare added: "It will surprise none who knew him that Nick succeeded in creating one of Britain's leading independent publishing houses. He was someone who preferred not to fish in the main river. Constable & Robinson reflects his strengths and character, a marvellous mingling of the traditional and the modern. He was an unsnobbish gentleman in the best sense, yielding to no-one in his passion for art and field sports; he also had the beady eye of his Harris bawk for a business deal or new trend. I knew him for 50 years, and knew few people in the book world more alive."

Robinson is survived by wife Nova Jayne, who serves as a C&R director and now becomes chair of the board as part of a succession plan, as well as by his son and daughter.

Details of a memorial service will be given at a later date.

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