About Bâton Wicks and Diadem

Diadem Books Limited, established in 1978 by Ken Vickers and Ken Wilson, was sold to Hodder and Stoughton in 1989 and was run from within the Hodder group with Wilson as publisher. Following the Hodder/Headline merger, Diadem publishing ended in 1993. Wilson left the company and set up Bâton Wicks to publish new titles and steadily re-acquire the Diadem list. On reprinting, some titles retained their Diadem imprint (for production reasons) while others were transferred to Bâton Wicks (given new ISBNs etc). The long-term aim is to move everything into the Bâton Wicks imprint.

Both Diadem and Bâton Wicks titles predominately concern hill-walking, mountaineering and rock-climbing. From time to time suitably related titles from other adventure sports are added (e.g. Caving, Cave-Diving and Ski-Mountaineering). There is also one Military title. The general strategy is to acquire titles from writers, past and present, who have been intimately involved with key events and trends within broader mountaineering. Some guidebooks have been published - those related to adventurous sectors - together with short story collections, biographies and historical narratives. The adventurous diversity of British mountaineering is showcased in a series of related titles (Hard Rock, The Big Walks, Cold Climbs, Classic Rock etc). Another theme is to re-popularise the great mountain writers of the past by collecting their books into a series of omnibus volumes. Overseas focus is on the greater ranges and also the key rock climbing areas, both current and historical. A glance at our list of authors shows that most of the leading names are represented.

Small publishers have to rely on strong steady-selling backlists. We therefore try to publish books for the long term and keep them in print. Large illustrated titles like Classic Rock (1978), The High Mountains of Britain and Ireland (1988) and The High Mountains of the Alps (1994) retain a steady popularity and are regarded as classics, while more modest publications such as The Games Climbers Play (1978), Battalion (1946/1994), Always a Little Further (1939/1983), Mountaineering in Scotland / Undiscovered Scotland (1947/1951/1979) and The Complete Doctor Stories (1984/1993/1997) have also been steady sellers.

Boardman/Tasker Awards were won by At the Rising of the Moon (Dermot Somers, 1994) and Deep Play (Paul Pritchard, 1997). In 2002 The Evidence of Things Not Seen, W.H.Murray's autobiography (published 6 years after his death), won the Banff Grand Prize and the American Alpine Club's J. Munro Thorington Award.