George Ronald was founded by David Hofman in 1943, in order to make available a wider range of literature on Bahá'í subjects.
To begin with there were only occasional publications, but in 1947, after consultation with Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, and with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles, the business was set up full-time.
In its first years it faced considerable difficulties, post-war paper rationing among them, but thanks to some major commissions from Shoghi Effendi, including the first German editions of God Passes By and Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, it was able to survive.
In its earlier years George Ronald also published books on general subjects, including several by Richard St. Barbe Baker, who through his work with trees was one of the first environmentalists, and was also well known as a Bahá'í.
But since 1963 when David Hofman was elected to the Universal House of Justice and had to relinquish his activity in the business, George Ronald has concentrated solely on books of interest to Bahá'ís.
Under the direction of Marion Hofman, George Ronald published major works by Hasan Balyuzi, Adib Taherzadeh, and Ugo Giachery and greatly expanded its range. Our policy has always been to publish books that are useful, authentic and accurate, and we are happy to count eight Hands of the Cause among our authors, as well as other distinguished Bahá'ís.
The publishing of Bahá'í books has greatly expanded since the 1980s, and the variety of books that we publish is widening all the time, but these remain our aims. Although we distribute our books world-wide, wherever there are Bahá'ís, George Ronald is still a small business.
The original 'GR' colophon, which appears on all our books, was designed and fired in clay by Bernard Leach, the world-famous potter who was also a Bahá'í.