Some Literary Gents the other day did meetThe World greets the formation of the Society of Authors, 12 March 1884.
All in a private chamber, which looks on Garrick Street;
There did they meet together, and solemnly they swore
That as they had been done enough they would be done no more…
The SoA was established in 1884 to advise individual members and lobby for the interests of authors.
There were a number of previous attempts by authors to band together but shared interests were not enough to keep the harmony until, in September 1883, 12 fellow members of the Savile Club set up a working party. On 18 February 1884 the first General Meeting of the Society of Authors took place.
A Management Committee was elected, with Walter Besant as Chair. A Council of 18 members was also appointed and Alfred Lord Tennyson became the first President.
Frequent publications on authors’ issues were soon replaced by a regular journal, The Author.
Since inception, we have been at the forefront of many successful campaigns for authors’ rights, including the protection of copyright and the introduction of Public Lending Right.