is a specialist publisher
, founded in 1769 with the publication of the first edition of The New Peerage
. The name "Debrett's" honours John Debrett (see below). This genealogical guide to the British
aristocracy evolved into a keystone of British society and is published today under the name Debrett’s Peerage & Baronetage
, a book which includes a short history of the family of each titleholder. Its only rival publication is Burke's Peerage
, although Burke's is now an online directory, and no longer available in print. The editor of Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage
is Charles Kidd, an expert in his field who has worked at Debrett's for over 30 years.
Debrett's is also considered by many to be the last word on traditional British etiquette, with a range of guides dating from the mid 1900s. Those now out of print include Debrett's Correct Form in the Middle East, Debrett's Guide to Entertaining, Debrett's Guide to the Season, Debrett's Etiquette and Modern Manners, The English Gentleman, and a range of guides to families and counties in England and Scotland, histories of royal engagements and weddings, and cookery books.
In 2006, Debrett's updated its Correct Form - the definitive guide to forms of address in the UK - to include a section on Business Etiquette, and another on American Usage. 2007 saw the publication of a new Debrett's Wedding Guide, a full-colour book with advice on every aspect of the modern wedding, including traditional form for invitations, chapters on the roles and responsibilities of the bridal party, and a listing of who pays for what.
In recent years, books such as Debrett’s Etiquette for Girls and Manners for Men have appeared. These books combine traditional courtesy with a modern lifestyle, and serve as a guide to those who want to make it through the minefield of modern manners without appearing fusty or awkward.
The Chairman of Debrett's is Conrad Free.
Debrett's People of Today
Debrett's People of Today
, an annual publication formerly known as Debrett's Distinguished People of Today
, is a rival to Who's Who
. It is published annually and is said to catalogue the biographies of Britain's most distinguished figures and to be a wide-ranging study of those Britons and foreign nationals working in Britain whose achievements have raised them to renown as leaders in their fields, listing biographies of peers, clergy, academics, politicians and business people alongside those of men and women from the worlds of the arts, the media, fashion and sport.
It contains biographical details of approximately notable 28,000 people from the entire spectrum of British society. The selection of entrants is made by the editorial staff of Debrett's and entries are reviewed annually to ensure accuracy and relevance. Entries include details of career, education, family, recreations and membership of clubs as well as contact addresses. An additional feature is the correct style of address to be used when addressing correspondence to an entrant. Like its rival publication the British Who's Who selection of entrants is at the Editorial Team's discretion and there is no payment or obligation to purchase. However unlike Who's Who, entrants are removed if they are no longer deemed to be suitable for inclusion
John Debrett (1753–15 November 1822
) was the London-born son of Jean Louys de Bret, a French cook of Huguenot
extraction. As a boy of thirteen, John Debrett was apprenticed to a Piccadilly
bookseller and publisher, Robert Davis. He remained there until 1780, when he moved to John Almon, bookseller and stationer. John Almon edited and published his first edition of The New Peerage
in 1769, and went on to produce at least three further editions. By 1790 he had passed the editorship on to John Debrett who, in 1802, put his name to the two small volumes that made up The Correct Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland
. Despite twice being declared bankrupt, Debrett continued as a bookseller, and retired in 1814. He was found dead at his lodgings on 15 November 1822, and was buried at St James's, Piccadilly.
- Hankinson, Cyril Francis James. My Forty Years with Debrett. London: R. Hale, 1963.
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