Hengen paloa & painettua sanaa. Renqvist-Reenpäät kustantajina 1815–2015. [A burning spirit & the printed word. The Renqvist-Reenpääs as publishers 1815-2015.]

25 May 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Hengen paloa ja painettua sanaaJuhani Salokannnel
Hengen paloa & painettua sanaa. Renqvist-Reenpäät kustantajina 1815–2015. [A burning spirit & the printed word. The Renqvist-Reenpääs as publishers 1815-2015.]
Helsinki: Otava, 2015. 344 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951-1-27838-2
47, hardback

Otava is currently Finland’s biggest book publisher, and is also active in the fields of newspapers, printing and bookshops. Almost from the beginning, the Reenpää (originally Renqvist) family has been at the head of this family business. Otava was founded in 1890, but 200 years ago a family forefather, Henrik Renqvist, who was studying for the priesthood began to publish religious books. In 1893 his grandson, Alvar Renqvist became Otava’s longstanding editorial director. Through his enthusiasm for Finnish-language literature and education, it was he who formed the basis for the publisher’s growth. His five sons and their sons guided the publishing house in the same spirit through some difficult times to the 21st century, and today the fifth generation is still at work there. The Reenpää family has had an important position in Finnish cultural life both as influential figures and as patrons. The writer Juhani Salokannel’s generously illustrated, well-designed work is based on wide source material and interviews with members of the Reenpää family and does not hold back from describing conflicts between some strong characters. The book is, indeed, a lively depiction of the Reenpääs’ history and work at Otava; a history of the publishing house as such has already been published.

Tags: ,