25 rue de Tournon - Paris

 

« Based in the House of the Bronze Horse, a gift from Francois Ier to Clément Marot in 1539, the Librairie Droz was founded in 1924 by Eugénie Droz, who graduated from the Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes. »
This sentence appeared on the front of the publisher's catalogues for many years.

Intelligence, courage and character were required of a single woman in order to found and manage a publishing house in the Paris of the golden twenties. Moreover, Eugénie Droz had to negotiate mostly with men.

Droz was born in 1893 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. She published her first books in December 1924 in Paris from her home at 13, avenue Félix-Faure, in the XVth arrondissement. She soon moved to the VIth arrondissement, rue de Tournon, into a house that a king gave to a poet. Eugénie Droz remained in Paris until 1947. She moved to 8, rue Verdaine, in Geneva that same year, where she was to spend the rest of her life.

In 1963 two young historians with complementary interests, Giovanni Busino and Alain Dufour, succeeded the erudite lady. They perpetuated the scientific nature of our publications. The last change of address occured in 1966, when Droz settled in 11, rue Firmint-Massot, where we have remained ever since.

From the earliest years, the ties with Geneva were inscribed, if not in the stars, then at least on the pages of every book. Eugénie Droz chose to employ the print mark of the printer Jean de Stalle, who worked in Geneva from 1487 to 1493. His third book (Mancilleni, Donatus melior, 1493) was the only one of his works to feature the print mark with the four putti supporting his emblem. The single modification that the modern Eugénie Droz dared was to replace the printer's initials I.S. with her own.

The series Publications Romanes et Françaises was started in 1930; It was followed by the series Textes Littéraires Français, in 1945, and by Travaux d'Humanisme et Renaissance in 1950. Several new series have since been published, which offer an opening on the modern and contemporary era. These works include Histoire des Idées et Critique Littéraire and Travaux de Sciences Sociales, both begun in 1963, and the 1966 series Travaux de la IVe section de l'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes.

In 1995, a third generation took over. The destiny of Droz is now in the hands of Max Engammare.


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