We are very sad to announce that Italian author Umberto Eco died on Friday 19th February 2016 aged 84.
Umberto Eco was born in Alessandria in Italy on 5 January 1932. He studied medieval philosophy and literature at the University of Turin, and was a Professor of Semiotics at Bologna University. He rose to worldwide fame when his first novel, The Name of the Rose, become an international bestseller, and it was adapted into a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Sean Connery. Umberto Eco published several more novels, including Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, The Prague Cemetery and Numero Zero, along with many brilliant collections of essays, and he is considered by many to be one of the greatest writers in modern Italian literature.
Liz Foley, Publishing Director at Harvill Secker, says: 'This is a very sad day for us as Umberto Eco was one of our most loved and respected writers and we have had the privilege of publishing his unique body of work for many years at Harvill Secker. It was a true honour to publish such an extraordinary writer and thinker who has contributed so much to the enjoyment and cultural life of readers all over the world. It is hard for us to accept that he is gone as he was a person of such enormous vitality and such a great pleasure to work with.'
Notes to Editors:
• The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco’s debut novel, was first published in English translation the UK by Secker & Warburg in 1983.
• Harvill Secker has published some of the most iconic and inspiring literary works of the last 100 years, bringing international writing to the attention of British readers. Martin Secker Ltd was founded in 1910 and became Secker & Warburg in 1936. The Harvill Press was founded in 1946. The two imprints were merged in 2005 to become Harvill Secker.
• Umberto Eco has been published in the UK, initially by Secker & Warburg and then its new incarnation as Harvill Secker, for 33 years.
• Photographer credit: Leonardo Cendamo