Baroja's World

"In the old publishing house, there remained just a clock, a crystal ashtray and a couple of levers of what had once been a brand-new printer; but, there remained something far more important than all this : the sheer effort contained in the three men's works! And beginning with the front pages of Ricardo's copperplate engravings, Pio Baroja's texts and novels and the Erasmus vignette by Holbein - the symbol of my father's old publishing house - I started, in 1972, the Commemorative Series of the Centenary of Pio Baroja's birth."

Pío Caro Baroja,  1987
 

History of the publishing house

 

In 1917, in the course of his fourth year of marriage to Carmen Baroja, Rafael Caro Raggio created the Publishing House that still bears his name and began to publish the works of his brother-in-law, Pio Baroja.

As the first editions of the time bear witness, the House was set up at Calle de Ventura Rodríguez 18, Madrid, a bookshop following thereafter, situated in the well-located Plaza de Canalejas 16. By 1918, the Publishing House had its own printing machine which, together with the publishing business itself and the whole Baroja Family, moved two years later to Calle de Mendizábal 34, an address where it and they remained for many a year. The business grew rapidly and, within three years, had established itself firmly and become a prosperous enterprise.

Julio Caro Baroja recalled how it was not uncommon to see the young apprentices of the Publishing House kick a paper ball in the middle of Calle Mendizábal, while Pio sat writing or Ricardo added ink to a copperplate, prior to setting it up on the rolling-press. Pio Caro still remembers the sound of the Minerva and LM printing machines operating during the day; also, their distant cooing invading the house at night.

In 1929, Rafael Caro Raggio issued a splendid Literature, Arts and Sciences Catalogue. The frontispiece had been executed by Juan Basilio and the catalogue included cartoons of Don Pio, Azorín and Eugenio D'Ors drawn by Bagaria. Inside were to be found many reproductions of the published works' title pages, as well as their price index.. And what prices these were! They ranged from the 1.5 pesetasworth of Momentum Catastrophicum to the 12 pesetas of Las Inquietudes de Shanti Andia. On the counter-pages one would read: "R.Caro Raggio, Publisher & Printer. Mendizábal 34, Madrid. Telephone 33453". And between the catalogue's flyleaves were to be found around three hundred titles, given that - aside from handling Baroja - the House had also published a great many books, including the Complete Works of Azorín and up to four editions of El Fuego, Enrique Barbusse's novel translated into French. Rafael Caro Raggio also created the Library of Arts directed by his brother-in-law, Ricardo Baroja, a Philosophical Library, a Library of Popular Medicine (with Marañón and Pittaluga as contributors), an Esoteric Sciences' Library and two collections of works, that were the bestsellers of their time, Las Grandes Enamoradas and El Jardín del Pecado; translations from foreign authors, among them Willy, completed the list of works on offer.

The Spanish Civil War stopped the Publishing House in its tracks and Rafael Caro Raggio, its founder, died a broken man in 1943.

In 1972, there remained just a clock, a crystal ashtray and a couple of levers belonging to what had once been a brand-new printer..but the founder's sons, Julio and Pio Caro Baroja picked up the baton of the old Publishing House, in order to rescue something far more important than its material assets. Theirs was the joint determination to bring back to life, the creative effort that lay behind the work of the three Barojas. And beginning with Ricardo's copperplate engraved frontispieces, Pio Baroja's texts and novels and the Erasmus vignette by Holbein - the symbol of the old Publishing House - they began to print the Series Commemorating the Centenary of Pio Baroja's Birth.

Right now, at the turn of the centuries and the millenia, The Caro Raggio Publishing House continues to be the home of the works of three men, without whom one would be at a loss to understand the literature, art and culture of Spain : Pio Baroja, Ricardo Baroja and Julio Caro Baroja, nephew of the former two and eldest son of the House's founder; his memory still presides the developments of Caro Raggio. It is our intention to serve our clients with the same warmth and enthusiasm as prevailed at the Publishing House in 1917, to continue publishing and distributing the works of these three artistic personalities and to remain the main point of reference for the World of the Barojas.


Biographies

Pío Baroja y Nessi
Pío Baroja y Nessi
San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, 28-XII-1872 - Madrid, 30-X-1956.
Writer with a vast cultural background, doctor, author of over one hundred books, both novels and essays. Pio Baroja is one of the most significant figures in Spanish Literature, which - according to some- has at its foundation three essential figures: Cervantes, Galdós and Baroja himself. He has been called the novelist par excellence of the so-called "Generation of '98", an epithet he always declined in his time. His literature is characterised by a strong degree of realism, not exempt of sensitivity and humour. His ideals are based on a firm and passionate belief in individualism - which bordered on Anarchism in his youth - and his characters are imbued with a sense of audacity and adventure. On account of his independence of criteria, he never participated in any political project and consequently, has sometimes been criticised for that attitude and, in tandem, for his intrinsic pessimism. Agnostic, liberal, individualistic, he has a legion of passionate followers among the reading public of the World.

The Caro Raggio Publishing House is the sole, worldwide holder of the rights to his entire works.

 

Ricardo Baroja y Nessi  

Ricardo Baroja y Nessi
Minas de Río Tinto, Huelva, 1871 - Vera de Bidasoa, Navarra, 1953.

Eldest brother of Don Pio and Carmen, he was a librarian and archivist during his youth; subsequently, he turned into a renowned engraver, writer and painter. Among the many prizes won in these latter two fields were the Second Prize in the Spanish National Fine Arts Exhibition of 1906, the Prize itself in 1908 and the Cervantes Literary Prize of 1935 for his book La Nao Capitana. Moreover, as an engraver his works are of sufficient importance, to assign to him the accolade of being Goya's successor in that field, according to diverse experts on the matter.

Ricardo was a man of fine disposition and, as is obvious, of a wide variety of creative facets. He left behind him over 130 engravings, in excess of 1000 oils and a collection of written works that pass the two dozen mark, both essays and novels. Of the latter, we can single out five as being his most renowned : El Pedigree, La Nao Capitana, El Dorado, Gente del 98 and Bienaventuranza y Fortuna.

The Caro Raggio Publishing House is the sole, worldwide holder of the rights to his entire works.


Julio Caro Baroja
Julio Caro Baroja
Madrid, 1914 - Vera de Bidasoa, Navarra, 1995.
Historian, ethnologist, anthropologist, Julio Caro Baroja is undoubtedly - on the strength of his extensive body of work alone - one of the truly great polygraphs of this Century.

Having first obtained his PhD in Ancient History at the University of Madrid, he subsequently worked there in a professorial capacity until being appointed Director of the Museum of the Spanish People, in Spain's capital. Thereafter, Julio embarked on a life that combined lecturing in a great many foreign universities and institutions, with research and publishing definitive works on a variety of subjects so wide, that they almost defy human possibilities. His work and life are a mirror of erudition, taste, reliability and keen independence from the patterns of fashions and transitory philosophical trends.

Of his many books, the following are perhaps those best known by the reading public : Los Pueblos de España, Los Vascos, Las Brujas y su Mundo, Los Judios en la España Moderna y Contemporánea, Vidas Mágicas e Inquisición, Los Baroja and Las Formas Complejas de la Vida Religiosa.

Julio Caro Baroja was a member of Spain's Royal Academies of History and Languages. He was a holder of the Príncipe de Asturias Prize for Social Sciences, of the Príncipe de Viana and Spanish Arts awards, as well as of the Menéndez Pelayo International Prize, amongst others.

The Caro Raggio Publishing House is the sole, worldwide holder of the rights to his entire works.


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