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Pinker, James B.


James Brand Pinker, 1863-1922, was the foremost British literary agent in the first third of the 20th century. First a foreign correspondent, then an editor of British periodicals from 1890 to 1896, he became a successful rival to Curtis Brown and to A.P. Watt, other early agents. Professional literary agents were a phenomenon of the late 19th century in Britain, a boon to authors struggling on their own to secure publication and to collect adequate royalties. Pinker was an energetic and highly effective agent for innumerable authors. Upon his sudden death in 1922, his sons carried on in his name until c.1940. As “Artistic and Literary Agent” (1911) or later as “Literary and Dramatic Agent” (1916), J.B. Pinker is known to have solicited and worked for well known authors as early as 1896. His permanent office was established at Talbot House, 9 Arundel Street, Strand, W.C., with the cable address, “Bookishly, London.” After 1922 and J.B. Pinker's death, his oldest son, Eric S., dealt with the clients - the firm being called James B. Pinker and Son. In 1925, another Pinker son, J. Ralph, joined the firm, running the London office as vice-president, while Eric established a New York branch. The firm still stayed as James B. Pinker and Son or J.B. Pinker and Son, Inc. in New York. The agency's description changed then to “Literary, Dramatic and Motion Picture (or Film) Agents.” The world depression definitely caused financial distress for Pinker clients and undoubtedly was a factor in the firm's demise. Both of the Pinker brothers served prison terms for embezzlement of client funds, an ignoble end to the agency's eminence.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

James B. Pinker Papers

Identifier: AS5
Abstract The papers in the Pinker archive at Northwestern University cover the period 1904-1934. All the correspondence is incoming to J.B. Pinker either from clients or from the organizations, firms, and individuals with whom he, and later his sons, negotiated. The 111 boxes of the archive contain original client correspondence files and many files from publishers, periodicals, translators, printing firms, readers, illustrators, theatre managers, etc. as well as other literary and dramatic agents with...
Dates: 1900-1934