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 recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.
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 the Barnsley Pals, aroused a thirst for more information. Over the years these books have been reprinted a number of times and collectively have reached a figure of around 20,000 copies sold.
Following on from the success of Dark Peak Wrecks 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 company bought it and "Pen and Sword" was born. Leo Cooper, the husband of the famous novelist Jilly, had established a strong reputation for publishing military history titles and had some famous 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 & Sword now specialise in all areas of military history, naval and maritime history, aviation, local history, family history, transport, discovery and exploration, collectables and antiques, nostalgia and true crime.
With over 350 books published every year, Pen & Sword has established itself as a specialist book publisher.