Pollinger Limited is one of the leading and longest established authors’ agencies
In 1935, Laurence Pollinger, David Higham and Nancy Pearn, after a disagreement about future plans with their employer, Curtis Brown, decided to form their own agency: Pearn, Pollinger and Higham. From precarious beginnings, with money borrowed from, among others, Harold Macmillan, and working from Higham’s flat in Fitzroy Square – from where they made their first sale: serial rights in a Dorothy L Sayers novel - they soon became one of the must successful London agencies.
They soon found offices, first in Norfolk Street and later in Bedford Street, Covent Garden, and between them, unusually, handled all aspects of an author's work, represented most of the US publishers of the time and managed numerous literary estates.
In 1947, after war service in the RAF, Gerald Pollinger, Laurence’s son, joined the agency, and with the founders, further developed the growth of the company.
Nancy Pearn died in 1950, and in 1958 Laurence and Gerald parted from David
Higham by mutual consent and became Laurence Pollinger Limited of 18 Maddox Street, Mayfair. They soon became one of the biggest agencies in the world. They continued to represent US publishers and authors, including Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Carson McCullers and Erskine Caldwell, and to build an impressive list of British writers: Graham Greene, H E Bates, D H Lawrence, John Wyndham and John Masters, to name but a few.
Laurence Pollinger retired in 1975 and sadly died a year later, aged 78. He was one of the most respected and successful agents of his generation, responsible for such innovations as the introduction of crossword puzzles in book form.
Gerald, who met and married his wife Jean, a secretary at the agency, in 1951, assumed responsibility for running the company, overseeing its development, particularly in the areas of military history and crime fiction.
Gerald’s daughter Lesley joined the firm in 1985 and has since built a formidable children's list.
Pollinger Limited has a worldwide reputation, and sales have significantly increased since Lesley Pollinger assumed control of the company in 2001.