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Our Founder

Wildsmith Publishing was founded by visionary linotype operator and scribe Jonathan Wildsmith in 1938.

Jonathan’s ability to arrange hot-metal type on presses quickly earned him the respect of the establishment but failed to satisfy his artistic bent.

At the top of his career he resigned, pledging his life savings to start an artists’ commune in the countryside. He invited a select group of peers, friends and acquaintances to join him living in a converted farm shed alongside sheep, cows, pigs and a solitary capuchin monkey named Bingo.

The commune supported a wide array of artistic endeavours including painting (landscapes, not portraiture), sculpture, architecture, literature, cinema, music, and the theatre.

It was several months before Jonathan realised that no-one would be joining his venture. The peers, friends and acquaintances Jonathan had counted on, shunned him. In a fit of pique, he released the sheep, cows, pigs and Bingo into the wild and burned down the farm shed.

Jonathan was later found naked, his body smeared with water colours, watching the smouldering ruins. He lived out the rest of his days comfortably self-publishing philosophical treatises on the nature of truth.

In honour of its founder, Wildsmith Publishing is proud to make an annual donation to the Capuchin Monkey Preservation Society.