United Kingdom: George Ronald Publisher marks 80th anniversary
OXFORD, United Kingdom — In 1943, amid the upheaval of a global conflict, a new chapter began in the life of actor David Hofman. Known for his work on the stage, Mr. Hofman found his love for storytelling moving in a direction that resonated deeply with his convictions. Alongside him in this journey was his wife, Marion Hofman, whose efforts played a vital role in the realization of their shared aspirations.
Inspired by Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of a peaceful world, Mr. Hofman turned to literature, dedicating his creative energy to publishing books that made that vision available to many people. This decision led to the establishment of George Ronald Publisher—an endeavor committed to enriching the growing body of Bahá’í literature. When Mr. Hofman was elected to the Universal House of Justice in 1963, Marion Hofman took the helm of the publishing house, continuing the important work they had begun together.
Eighty years later, a vibrant gathering of authors from around the world, members of the publishing industry, and representatives from Bahá’í institutions gathered in Arncott, Oxfordshire, to mark George Ronald’s 80th-anniversary.
May Hofman recalls a pivotal moment in her father’s life when he sought guidance from Shoghi Effendi about pursuing a new path in life, stating: “Shoghi Effendi’s encouragement saw this dream flourish into the reality that we are celebrating today.”
The ethos of George Ronald was already clear from its earliest years when the publisher made an indelible contribution to Bahá’í literature by providing books to the German Bahá’í community to replace those lost during the Second World War.
The 80th-anniversary celebration not only highlighted the journey of George Ronald Publisher but also recognized the contributions of its authors worldwide whose works span a broad range of themes including the application of Bahá’í principles to social progress, fundamental Bahá’í beliefs and practices, comprehensive introductions to the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith, and in-depth explorations of Bahá’í community life. Today, George Ronald collaborates with over 170 authors and has over 300 books in print.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom, in a message to the publisher on its anniversary, stated: “Countless souls worldwide have cherished your publications, books that have… cultivated the intellectual life of the Bahá’í community, and preserved priceless works of scholarship.”