Although only established in 2011, Margaret River Press emerged from Helm Wood Publishers, which had its own historical connection to Croom Helm Publishers of London.
Prior to being sold to A and C Black, Croom Helm was owned and operated by Mr. Christopher Helm. Born in Dundee in 1937, Mr. Helm was educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and subsequently worked for Macmillan. Following his time at Macmillan, Mr. Helm founded his own publishing firms and began to specialise in academic and ornithological titles. These included the widely respected taxonomic and geographic bird books known as the Helm Identification Guides.
In 1983, Croom Helm published ‘British Economists and the Empire’ by John Cunningham Wood. This book was the first collaboration between Mr. Helm and Dr. Wood and was the beginning of a lasting relationship. They went on to found Helm Wood Publishers and together published specialist social, political and environmental works in both the United Kingdom and Australia.
In 1995 Mr. Helm was elected Vice President of the British Ornithological Union and Dr. Wood edited the inaugural Wood’s Parliamentary Companion. This was a year of great success for both men, and as their other professional activities flourished, they allowed the vision for Helm Wood to languish. In 2007 and having not published any work of note for a number of years, Dr. Wood and Caroline Wood acquired all shares in Helm Wood which became wholly Australian owned.
In 2006 John Wood registered the business name Margaret River Press as the second imprint of Helm Wood Publishers, the first being Helm Wood. In 2011, Dr. Wood’s wife Caroline Wood decided to activate the publishing business and started operating under the name of Margaret River Press because of the couple’s love for the region, where since 1991 they have had a second home and where their three children have lots of wonderful childhood memories.
Drawing on its predecessors’ tradition of social, political and environmental works, Margaret River Press is committed to its region and the written word.