F Rupert Crew started his life as an agent, so the story goes, from a shed in his parents’ North West London house. Originally launched under the heading The Author’s Advisory Service, Rupert, who had great creative skills as an agent, was joined for a short period by his brother, Frank, and later by his wife, Kathleen, who became responsible for the agency’s fiction intake.
Kathleen had come from a family with close publishing ties – her sister was the novelist, Sonia Deane, her brother-in-law, author Andrew Soutar and her first cousin, H.A. Pitkin, launched Pitkin Pictorials, which ran until 2003.
By the 1930s the agency’s offices could be found in Gray’s Inn Place and subsequently in Warwick Court, moving on, having been bombed-out during the Blitz in 1940, to King’s Mews, which stayed as the company’s home until 2010 when we moved to new premises in leafy North London. 2019 marked another phase in the company’s history with a move to Hardy country and a town with a significant literary heritage, Dorchester.
The agency’s name was changed to that of its founder in 1947.
It remained a family firm. Rupert and Kathleen believed in maintaining a close relationship with their authors, understanding that often they ploughed a lonely furrow and needed their agent’s support.
A policy of limiting the number of writers whose work they handled was established early on, in order to ensure availability to their clients’ needs – one which the present director continues.