The international publisher of books by women for all readers, everywhere
Virago was founded in 1973 as ‘the first mass-market publisher for 52 per cent of the population – women. An exciting new imprint for both sexes in a changing world.’ It was an idea of Dame Carmen Callil’s, born out of a particular time, place and politics. Virago means ‘heroic war-like woman’, or, as the thesaurus has it a particular kind of woman: biddy, bitch, dragon, fire-eater, fury, harpy, harridan, hussy, muckraker, scold, she-devil, siren, spitfire, termagant, tigress, vituperator, vixen, wench.
More than forty-five years on Virago is the outstanding international publisher of books by women. The cultural, political and economic landscape has changed dramatically but Virago has remained true to its original aims: to put women centre stage; to explore the untold stories of their lives; above all to champion women’s talent. We publish award-winning fiction, agenda-setting non-fiction, a rich list of rediscovered classics – and most recently began a boutique list of graphic novels.. Sometimes we publish to entertain, sometimes we publish to give readers the sheer pleasure of beautiful writing, sometimes we publish to change the world.