1976 was the year of England’s hottest, driest summer ever recorded. Concorde made its first commercial flight, inflation was running at 16.5%, and Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started the Apple Computer Company.
This was the year Ed Victor set up a new literary agency based in London. Ed Victor Limited first occupied the top floor of 27 Soho Square, a building which has since been demolished. The premises had once been the London home of singer Gracie Fields, and David Puttnam, now Lord Puttnam, was the previous tenant. The agency started in a very small way with Ed, his assistant Dasha Shenkman, and a very short list of clients. However, in a very few years writers of the commercial stature of Irving Wallace, Erich Segal, Iris Murdoch and Douglas Adams had become clients.
In addition to handling his own clients, Ed took on the representation of UK and Commonwealth rights for several American agencies, including William Morris and Swifty Lazaar. The Agency expanded quickly, with Caroline Daubeny joining in 1977, and moved to larger office accommodation in Paramount House, Wardour Street in 1981. By 1993 Ed Victor Limited was representing over a hundred authors, and moved to its current address in Bedford Square. Hitesh Shah is now Managing Director of the Agency, having started in 1995 as Accountant.
The Agency’s client list features a wide range of writers, including politicians, chefs, novelists, academics, historians, artists, rock stars, travellers, journalists, captains of industry, entrepreneurs and film stars.
In 2011 the agency started a publishing venture – Bedford Square Books - producing ebook versions of out-of-print books by the agency’s clients. Titles include both fiction and non-fiction works. More recently Bedford Square Literary Management was set up – a company that carries out backroom services for smaller agencies such as Rosemary Sandberg Limited, Toby Mundy and Kelly Falconer.
Ed Victor was born in New York, but has lived in London for over fifty years. He was educated at Dartmouth College in America, then did an M.Litt degree at Cambridge before starting his career in publishing. He worked for Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Jonathan Cape and Alfred A Knopf. He was an agent and director at John Farquharson Ltd before establishing his own agency.
In addition to his career in publishing, Ed has been widely involved in the arts, and was Vice Chair of the Board of the Almeida Theatre, a Trustee of The Arts Foundation and of The Hay Festival, and is a founding director of The Groucho Club. He is a member of The Garrick Club. In the New Year’s Honour List of 2016 Ed was awarded a C.B.E. by the Queen, the Honour being presented at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles.
Based in Bedford Square, the heart of literary London, the agency represents its clients' interests directly with publishing houses in the UK and Commonwealth, US and major European territories, and via sub-agents in the translation markets throughout the rest of the world.
The agency works closely with its clients to build their careers as authors, and markets film, television, audio and other rights in each book project, as appropriate, in all media.
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Tel: (+44) 0 20 7304 4100
Fax: (+44) 0 20 7304 4111