Frances Lincoln

Frances Lincoln
Frances Elisabeth Rosemary Lincoln

(1945-03-20)March 20, 1945
London, England
Died February 26, 2001(2001-02-26) (aged 55)
Kendal, Cumbria, England
Nationality British
Occupation Book publisher
Known for Frances Lincoln Publishers; Woman of the Year for Services to Multicultural Publishing (1995)

Frances Elisabeth Rosemary Lincoln (20 March 1945 – 26 February 2001) was an English independent publisher of illustrated books.[1][2] She published under her own name and the company went on to become Frances Lincoln Publishers. In 1995, Lincoln won the Woman of the Year for Services to Multicultural Publishing award.[1]


Frances Lincoln went to school at St George's School, Harpenden where she became Head Girl.

Lincoln's university education was at Somerville College, Oxford. (Somerville at that time was a women's college, known in Oxford as "the bluestocking college".) There she read Greats (the Oxford term for traditional courses in the humanities, with emphasis on the ancient classics of Greece and Rome, including philosophy).

The drug smuggler Howard Marks was a student at Balliol College, Oxford, while Frances Lincoln was at Somerville College. In his 1996 autobiography Mr. Nice, he describes her as "vivacious".[3] The book contains an anecdote of Marks taking LSD for the first time before visiting Lincoln in her rooms. While they sat listening to The Rolling Stones, Marks described to her the trip he was experiencing.


In 1970, Lincoln started work as an Assistant Editor at the London-based publishing firm of Studio Vista. She went on to become its managing director. From Studio Vista, she moved to a job with the publisher Marshall Cavendish, and from there to Weidenfeld and Nicolson, where she was given her own imprint.[citation needed]

A story that followed her throughout her career, often passed on from employees to new recruits, was of the staff-walkout and demonstration she headed while at Studio Vista in 1975. This was a protest against redundancies proposed by Collier Macmillan, the firm that had come to own Studio Vista. The protest went on for a number of days and is described as a strike.[citation needed] It achieved concessions from Collier Macmillan. (The story itself is striking for the incongruity between the shy and reserved bluestocking figure of Frances Lincoln, and the tale's casting of her in the role of "strike leader".[citation needed])

Frances Lincoln Publishers

In 1977, Frances went out on her own as an independent publisher/packager, publishing both under her own name and in co-editions. The firm she founded continues as Frances Lincoln Publishers, based in London.[4] The firm was known for the list of illustrated gardening books it published, and for the illustrated children's books that it began publishing from 1983, many of which have won awards and prizes. In Frances Lincoln's time (until her death in 2001), her firm was notable for employing an almost exclusively female staff.[citation needed]

In August 2011, The Quarto Group acquired Frances Lincoln Publishers for £4.5 million.[5] The Frances Lincoln Children's Book imprint was created and this has won awards:

  • 2016 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize – Illustrated Book: The Bear and the piano, by David Litchfield.[6]
  • 2017 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize – Illustrated Book: There’s a tiger in the garden, by Lizzy Stewart.[7]


Frances Lincoln married John Nicoll, the author of the first book she had commissioned. Nicoll later headed Yale University Press in the United Kingdom. The couple had a son and two daughters. Lincoln died from pneumonia aged 55 in 2001.


  1. ^ a b Girouard, Mark (2 March 2001). "Frances Lincoln". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Whiteman, Yvonne (6 March 2001). "Frances Lincoln". The Independent.
  3. ^ Marks, Howard (1996). Mr. Nice. Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-436-20305-7.
  4. ^ "About Us". 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  5. ^ Neill, Graeme (16 August 2011). "Quarto Snaps-up Frances Lincoln". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  6. ^ Pauli, Michelle (17 March 2016). "David Solomons wins Waterstones prize with superhero story". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Kean, Danuta (30 March 2017). "Waterstones children's book prize goes to 'mesmerising' debut adventure story". The Guardian.

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