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Pen and Sword company logo

Pen and Sword Books is a British publisher which specializes in printing and distributing books on military history and other niche subjects.

Pen & Sword Books is part of the Barnsley Chronicle newspaper group. The Barnsley Chronicle is one of the UK's oldest provincial newspapers and one of the few weeklies still in private ownership. It was launched in 1858 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008.


The first books produced by the company were in response to public demand following of a series of articles first published weekly in the Barnsley Chronicle. Dark Peak Aircraft Wrecks told the story of crash sites in the Dark Peak National Park and a further weekly feature on the history of two Kitchener battalions, known as the Barnsley Pals, aroused a public thirst for more. Over the years these books have been reprinted a number of times and collectively have reached a figure of around 20,000 copies sold.


Durham Pals from Pals Book Series


Western Front: South from Holt's Guidebooks Series

Following on from the success of the Dark Peak and Barnsley Pals books, a number of local history paperbacks were produced along with a series of battlefield guide books. Battleground Europe proved immediately successful and as more and more titles were produced the company made the decision to launch a book publishing arm of the group.

When the Leo Cooper imprint became available the Barnsley Chronicle bought it; and the Pen and Sword publishing house was born. Leo Cooper, the husband of the novelist Jilly, had established a strong reputation for publishing military history titles and had some well-known books in his list. With the Leo Cooper imprint and its backlist Pen and Sword became established as one of the UK's leading military history publishers.

Over recent years the company has continued to grow and has added new imprints to its core area of military history. Pen and Sword now specialise in all areas of military history, naval and maritime history, aviation, local history, family history, collectables and antiques, nostalgia and true crime, recently launching the new imprint Remember When. With over 200 books published every year, Pen and Sword has established itself as a specialist book publisher.

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