Listen to Philip talking to John Humphrys
on Radio 4's Today programme.
Philip Dodd was born in Ipswich and brought up in Suffolk and Buckinghamshire. After reading French and Spanish at Jesus College, Oxford, he became an editor and then publisher for the Longman Group before joining the Octopus Group and later Virgin – at both companies he was at the forefront of bringing rock’n’roll books into mainstream publishing.
Philip set up a publishing consultancy in 1997 – his clients have included McLaren Cars, the Goodwood Estate, the Rolling Stones, Genesis and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, as well as Virgin, Orion and Macmillan – before moving across to writing fulltime from 2000 onwards (his first-ever authorial byline had appeared as part of the team compiling The A-Z Of Street Cred, a Corgi paperback, in 1987).
For Pavilion, Philip wrote The Book Of Rock in 2001, which he followed up with The Book Of Cities, written with Ben Donald (an idea they dreamt up over a post-tennis pint), published in 2004 and released in a cute small format in August 2006. The pair then collaborated again on The Book Of Islands, published by Palazzo Editions in 2009 – “gorgeous… oodles of inspiration,” wrote The Daily Express. “A perfect gift for hard-to-buy-for travelling types or a treat to be treasured all to yourself”.
The Reverend Guppy’s Aquarium, a quirky journey to discover the stories behind the people whose names became immortalised as objects, from Roy Jacuzzi to Mercédès Jellinek, was published by Random House Books in the UK in September 2007, with Gotham Books, part of Penguin USA, publishing the US edition in January 2008. The Guardian called it “a glorious swerve along the eponymic byways of the English language”.
As an editor and amanuensis, Philip has worked with the Rolling Stones on 2003’s According To The Rolling Stones, Nick Mason, whose Inside Out: A Personal History Of Pink Floyd came out in 2004, and Genesis on their autobiography, Genesis: Chapter & Verse (September 2007).
With Philip Glenister he wrote Things Ain’t What They Used To Be, a sideways look at 1970s and 80s nostalgia. And The Last Matchmaker, with Willie Daly, a third-generation romantic matchmaker from County Clare, Ireland, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week in January 2010.
Philip Dodd is a member of the Society of Authors and the Royal Society of Literature, and a founder member of the Groucho Club. He lives in the historic Dickensian city of Rochester, Kent with his wife and two daughters.