Carnegie began life in 1984 when history Ph.D. student Alistair Hodge was living in a Preston bedsit looking for ways to fund the remaining research for his doctoral dissertation. Alistair decided to write and publish a short introduction to the history of Preston, based upon some lecture classes he had been giving through the University of Liverpool and the WEA.
That first little book, History of Preston; An Introduction had just 32 pages, all in black and white, and had a retail price of 95p. Alistair confidently had 2,000 copies run off by local printer, T. Snape & Co., and with no distribution system save a moderately rusty bicycle, the first print run was hawked around the main Preston bookshops. An article about the venture in the Lancashire Evening Post stimulated so much interest that within a couple of weeks all 2,000 copies were sold, and another 3,000 printed.
From those early days Alistair has always believed that good historical writing – packed with insight, explanation, interest and illustrations – has a good potential market. We still like to make our books accessible to a wide readership, with modest retail prices, attractive design and nowadays with extensive use of colour in our books.
We are currently expanding our publishing in the areas of general history, city and town histories, counties and regions, industrial heritage and several other areas. Keep an eye on this website to find out about our latest books.