"In the old publishing house, there remained just a clock, a crystal
ashtray and a couple of levers of what had once been a brand-new printer; but,
there remained something far more important than all this : the sheer effort
contained in the three men's works! And beginning with the front pages of Ricardo's
copperplate engravings, Pio Baroja's texts and novels and the Erasmus vignette by Holbein
- the symbol of my father's old publishing house - I started, in 1972, the Commemorative
Series of the Centenary of Pio Baroja's birth."
Pío Caro Baroja, 1987
In 1917, in the course of his fourth year of marriage to Carmen Baroja,
Rafael Caro Raggio created the Publishing House that still bears his name
and began to publish the works of his brother-in-law, Pio Baroja.
As the first editions of the time bear witness, the House was set up at Calle de Ventura Rodríguez 18,
Madrid, a bookshop following thereafter, situated in the well-located Plaza de Canalejas 16. By 1918,
the Publishing House had its own printing machine which, together with the publishing business itself
and the whole Baroja Family, moved two years later to Calle de Mendizábal 34, an address
where it and they remained for many a year. The business grew rapidly and, within three years, had established
itself firmly and become a prosperous enterprise.
Julio Caro Baroja recalled how it was not uncommon to see the young apprentices of the
Publishing House kick a paper ball in the middle of Calle Mendizábal, while Pio sat writing
or Ricardo added ink to a copperplate, prior to setting it up on the rolling-press. Pio Caro
still remembers the sound of the Minerva and LM printing machines operating during the day; also, their distant
cooing invading the house at night.
In 1929, Rafael Caro Raggio issued a splendid Literature, Arts and Sciences Catalogue. The
frontispiece had been executed by Juan Basilio and the catalogue included cartoons of Don Pio, Azorín
and Eugenio D'Ors drawn by Bagaria. Inside were to be found many reproductions of the published works'
title pages, as well as their price index.. And what prices these were! They ranged from the 1.5 pesetasworth
of Momentum Catastrophicum to the 12 pesetas of Las Inquietudes de Shanti Andia. On the counter-pages one would
read: "R.Caro Raggio, Publisher & Printer. Mendizábal 34, Madrid. Telephone 33453". And between
the catalogue's flyleaves were to be found around three hundred titles, given that - aside from handling
Baroja - the House had also published a great many books, including the Complete Works
of Azorín and up to four editions of El Fuego, Enrique Barbusse's novel translated
into French. Rafael Caro Raggio also created the Library of Arts directed by his brother-in-law,
Ricardo Baroja, a Philosophical Library, a Library of Popular Medicine (with Marañón and
Pittaluga as contributors), an Esoteric Sciences' Library and two collections of works,
that were the bestsellers of their time, Las Grandes Enamoradas and El Jardín del Pecado; translations from
foreign authors, among them Willy, completed the list of works on offer.
The Spanish Civil War stopped the Publishing House in its tracks and Rafael Caro Raggio, its
founder, died a broken man in 1943.
In 1972, there remained just a clock, a crystal ashtray and a couple of levers belonging to what had once been
a brand-new printer..but the founder's sons, Julio and Pio Caro Baroja picked
up the baton of the old Publishing House, in order to rescue something far more important than its material
assets. Theirs was the joint determination to bring back to life, the creative effort that lay behind the work
of the three Barojas. And beginning with Ricardo's copperplate engraved
frontispieces, Pio Baroja's texts and novels and the Erasmus vignette by Holbein - the
symbol of the old Publishing House - they began to print the Series Commemorating the Centenary of Pio
Right now, at the turn of the centuries and the millenia, The Caro Raggio Publishing House continues
to be the home of the works of three men, without whom one would be at a loss to understand the literature, art and
culture of Spain : Pio Baroja, Ricardo Baroja and Julio Caro Baroja,
nephew of the former two and eldest son of the House's founder; his memory still presides the developments of
Caro Raggio. It is our intention to serve our clients with the same warmth and enthusiasm as prevailed
at the Publishing House in 1917, to continue publishing and distributing the works of these three artistic personalities
and to remain the main point of reference for the World of the Barojas.