The publishing house Elisabeth Sandmann was founded in autumn 2004, its philosophy being to produce unique books with well-researched content and high-quality illustrations. The publication of Women Who Read Are Dangerous in spring 2005 gave rise to an immediate bestseller, not only in the German-language market but around the globe. The book has so far been issued in more than fifteen languages, with new partners coming on board all the time.
Our list for women, published under the slogan »Beautiful books for clever women«, currently comprises twenty-four titles, many of which have been successful in a number of countries. The most recent include the first highly illustrated book on Bauhaus women (who, unlike their male counterparts, have been almost entirely forgotten), and the first illustrated book on Chinese women, which recounts the life stories of empresses, artists, concubines, goddesses, great beauties, and politically active intellectuals (Gentle and Powerful Women of China).
We have also published a stunning book in the area of photography, which tells the story of Iren Dornier, who rebuilt his grandfather’s flying boat (the Do-24, whose maiden flight had taken place in 1937) to cross the Atlantic and embark on a world tour recorded in spectacular aerial photographs (Mission: Dream).
We have a special interest in untold life stories, many of them with Jewish backgrounds. The first of our titles in this area was The Devil’s Workshop by Adolf Burger, a survivor of the Holocaust, published in 2007. Burger tells the story of his internment in a Nazi concentration camp, during which he was forced to forge British and American banknotes, producing counterfeits of the utmost precision. The book became the basis for the film The Counterfeiters, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2008. The New York Times estimates that close to 600,000 important privately owned works of art were confiscated from European Jews on Hitler’s orders between 1933 and 1945. Our book Lost Paintings, Lost Lives focuses on twelve collectors of art and their collections, describing the lives of these farsighted individuals before the Nazis came to power, and tracing their fates and those of their collections right up to the present day. The book had huge press coverage when it came out in Germany in spring 2009 and has already had some influence on political decision makers, in that some of the works of art in question have now been restored to their rightful owners.
Elisabeth Sandmann publishes on average eight books a year, all of them designed page by page in-house. We take great pride in our creativity and our design. And it is with enormous pleasure that we see our books produced in more than fifteen countries throughout the world.
André Stern: Let the children play–
Don´t you have anything better to do than play? Young children hear this ten times a day from their parents who still believe that their children have to learn systematically. However, modern science tells us that playing is the best tool for learning and that every person is born with this spontaneous disposition. André Stern who never went to school knows exactly what he is talking about and in the book he pleads to trust the natural development of children and to let them play.
- An appeal for undisturbed playing from the bestseller author Andre Stern
- An important long overdue theme, especially in the digital age
- The importance of playing in our achievement-oriented society
Claudia Lanfranconi: Legendary Hostesses
Women have always been deemed more talented in the social realm. This becomes obvious not least in their passion for entertaining, which has been honed over centuries. A lady of society who invited guests into her home had to give careful attention to her elegant table decor and the presentation of the deliciously prepared dishes. What is more though, she
also – and that was the most intricate challenge – had to draw up the guest list in a way
that made everyone feel equally important and think that their counterpart was delightful company. Diplomatic prowess, political knowledge and a good education might have come in helpful as well.
Those of a more extravagant persuasion used to invite artists and writers and gave their party a theme. Luisa Casati and Marie-Hélène de Rothschild were experts in this field; Casati entertained in the nude on some occasions while the countess insisted on surreal headdresses. Elsa Maxwell, on the other hand, was neither beautiful nor rich and yet regarded as the “hostess with the mostess”. Any event she organised was a success and the snapshots of her with Salvador Dalí, Maria Callas or other members of New York’s high society show how much fun they had together. There were, however, also smaller occasions that were just as star studded, for example when Frida Kahlo prepared dinner for Diego Rivera or Leo Trotsky. Her entire tables became works of art.
Claudia Lanfranconi’s book introduces legendary hostesses from the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Mexico, whose life stories fill numerous biographies. The reader is taken on a tour to meet French salonières and millionaires from New York, ingenious artists and glamorous First Ladies. The result is a book of photographic material and biographic stories that has the makings of a bestseller.