From the mid−1920s to the end of his life, Bohumil Mathesius (1888–1952) worked with the Melantrich publishing house in Prague. During the Second World War and the German occupation of the Bohemian Lands (1939–45), when the publishing house was run by Mathesius’s friend Josef Träger (1904–1971), their relationship resulted in an exclusive contract between Mathesius and Melantrich. In 1943, Mathesius presented Melantrich with his plan to publish a companion to literature, which he had begun to compile at the Sfinx publishing house. Melantrich adopted the project and anticipated publishing it in about 1946. The momentous social and political changes, as well as the changed priorities of the author and the publishing house, meant that the companion was never completed.