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Cogito publishing launches spring 22 with A Man of Understanding by acclaimed novelist Diana Janney

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

A new independent ‘publisher of ideas’ launches in the UK this spring. Cogito Publishing will publish literary fiction, thought-provoking non-fiction, and some poetry.

Cogito’s first book is a novel by Diana Janney, author of two philosophical novels, The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose (published by Headline) and The Choice.

Her work has received critical acclaim, and has been published in several foreign editions.

A Man of Understanding, published 7 April, is a novel of ideas set in Mallorca and England, a story of intergenerational friendship between a bereaved young man and the complex grandfather he had never met.

It takes a man of understanding to rebuild a shattered soul: a man with a deep and learned grasp of philosophy and poetry, a man who can nurture and inspire an enquiring mind, a man with the wit and humour to bring the world alive. That enigmatic man is Horatio Hennessy. Following the death of twelve-year-old Blue’s parents, he arrives in the mountains of Mallorca, to live with the grandfather he has never met. But is Horatio, ‘Granga’ to Blue, up to the challenge? Or is he merely trying, through his grandson, to make good his past? Gradually a bond evolves between them through a shared love of poetry. But when secrets are uncovered, will understanding turn to misunderstanding? Will two souls be shattered this time?

A coming-of-age novel, a novel of ideas and a beautiful evocation of Mallorca, A Man of Understanding is a story of the search for a higher understanding of the self and others, interlaced with philosophy, poetry and love. It is reminiscent of Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game in its depiction of an older, wiser master who draws the potential from his young student through philosophical enquiry and the arts, whilst doing for Mallorca what My Family and Other Animals does for Corfu – spellbinding landscape, a keenly-observed, often humorous story, and a family you would never meet anywhere else.

Critical acclaim for Diana Janney

Advance praise for A Man of Understanding:

‘The characters (even minor) are rich, the settings are vivid and the story is riveting’ W.D. Hart, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Chicago

Praise for The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose

“Reading this really well-written book, I genuinely felt I was living Harriet’s life with her.” Independent on Sunday

“Harriet is a great character – fantastically clever, arrogant, socially inept and likely to refer to Kant at inopportune moments. There should be lots more books…with heroines who idolise Marcus Aurelius.” Observer

“Diana Janney creates in Harriet Rose a young heroine who is beautiful, confident, clever, successful and much loved as well as loving…the young author’s attempts to publicise her book maintain interest as well as providing more than a few laughs… refreshing.” Independent

“A lovely fantasy on stardom spotted with her philosophy and the sad knocks of life. A good, unusual read.” The Bookseller

Diana Janney is the author of the novels The Choice and The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose, which has been translated into German, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese. It was produced by the BBC as an audiobook and the film rights were sold. Formerly she practised as a barrister in London after having qualified as a solicitor at a leading City of London international law firm. She read Philosophy at University College, London, where she received a First for her Masters thesis on Kant and Hume, and three Scholarships. She has received international acclaim for her writing, which combines her philosophical knowledge with her wit, poetry and keen observation of human nature.

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