In response to a recent exhibition on Elisabeth Friedlander at Ditchling Museum Art + Craft and the opening of the Friedlander Archival Collection at UCC Library I considered how publishing houses are part of an individual's collection. Elisabeth Friedlander's work was synonymous with Penguin but what were the different publishing houses within the Hawtin Collection. It was clear from other forays into the collection that part of the appeal was late 19th century trade bindings but from scanning the shelves I noticed other groupings such as cookery, nature. I considered how to group these in relation to the publishing houses and settled on how the publishing fared: still in business, merged, taken over, defunct, fine printing and cookery.
Duckworth: Gerald Duckworth founded Gerald Duckworth and Company in 1898. It is currently Britain’s oldest active independent trade publisher. Authors published by the firm have included Henry James, John Galsworthy, L. Frank Baum, Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh, D. H. Lawrence, Hilaire Belloc and Beryl Bainbridge. Duckworth's academic division was acquired by Bloomsbury in 2010.
Methuen: Sir Algernon Methuen (1856–1924) founded Methuen in 1889 initially publishing mostly non-fiction academic works, and later various translations. Methuen published works by Rudyard Kipling, Hilaire Belloc, Robert Louis Stevenson and Oscar Wilde. In 1920 the company published the English translation of Albert Einstein’s Relativity, the Special and the General Theory: A Popular Exposition. Methuen was also the English publisher of the book editions of The Adventures of Tintin albeit with considerable alterations. Methuen continues to publish new works of fiction and non-fiction, as well as reprints of classic works.
George Allen: George Allen (1832-1907) founded the firm that bore his name in 1871 in conjunction with John Ruskin. This was despite having little experience in the trade. By 1890 Allen had moved from Orpington to Chancery Lane, London and in 1894 he moved to Charing Cross Road. Ruskin's works comprised a major part of the business. In 1914 George Allen merged with Stanley Unwin's publishing firm to become George Allen & Unwin.
Jonathan Cape: Jonathan Cape (1879-1960) worked first for Hatchards Harper & Brothers and Duckworth before starting his own company 'Jonathan Cape' in 1921. The firm published works by AC Fifield, TE Lawrence, Arthur Ransome, and Ernest Hemingway. Jonathan Cape also pubished a cheap series of books, including the ‘Travellers’ Library’. Ian Fleming's James Bond books proved lucrative for the firm. After World War II, the James Bond books proved very lucrative for the company. Following Cape's death the firm merged with Chatto in 1969, with Bodley Head in 1973), with Virago in 1987. Today it is an imprint of Random House.
Fisher Unwin: Thomas Fisher Unwin founded 'T. Fisher Unwin' in 1882. Fisher Unwin's nephew Stanley Unwin learned about the publishing industry when he worked in his uncle's firm prior to forming George Allen & Unwin. T FIsher Unwin published works by Joseph Conrad and John Galsworthy. T Fisher Unwin published series including the ‘Pseudonym Library’ (56 vols, 1891–1903), and the ‘First Novel Library’ from 1902. In 1926 T. Fisher Unwin merged with Ernest Benn Ltd.
A & C Black: In 1834 Adam Black founded in partnership with his nephew, Charles Black, the firm 'A & C Black.' The firm is best known for publishing Walter Scott's Waverley novels and editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica. From the mid-19th century they also published a series of travel guides: Black's Guides. In 2000 Bloomsbury bought A & C Black. The publishing records of the company are held in the University of Reading.
Dent: Joseph Malaby Dent founded J.M Dent and Company in 1888. In 1909 it became 'J.M. Dent & Sons.' For the first five years small runs of works by Charles Lamb, Oliver Goldsmith, Jane Austen, Chaucer and Tennyson were printed on handmade paper. However it was not until the establishment of the Temple Shakespeare series in 1894 that more commerical success followed. In 1904 Dent planned the Everyman's Library, a series of 1000 classics to be published in an attractive format and priced at one shilling. The first title was published in 1906 and 152 titles were published by the end of the first year. However two factors limited the series' continuation: the Copyright Act 1911 which extended protection to fifty years after the author's death thus reducing the availability of Victorian texts, and World War I which saw inflation and shortages of supplies. Weidenfeld and Nicolson purchased J. M. Dent & Sons in 1988 and Dent is now an imprint of Orion.
Heinemann: William Henry Heinemann (1863-1920) founded the firm in 1890. Heineman published authors such as RL Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad. , the firm also published successful series, including ‘Heinemann’s International Library’, ‘The Great Educators’, and ‘Heinemann Scientific Books’. Heinemann published the ‘Loeb Classical Library ' jointly with Harvard University Press. Doubleday purchased a majority stake following William Heinemann's death in 1920.
John Lane at the Bodley Head: Named after a bust of Sir Thomas Bodley above Elkin Mathews’s Vigo Street bookshop, the Bodley Head became an influential literary publisher. It was founded in 1887 and existed independently until the 1970s. The firm was originally a partnership between John Lane (1854-1925) and Elkin Mathews (1851-1921): 'John Lane and Elkin Mathews — The Bodley Head' and the firm traded in antiquarian books. In 1894 Lane and Mathews started publishing works of ‘stylish decadence’ including the literary periodical The Yellow Book. 20th century authors included Arnold Bennett, Agatha Christie, George Bernard Shaw, Graham Greene, Charles Chaplin, William Trevor, Maurice Sendak, Muriel Spark, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Alistair Cooke. In the 1970s it was taken over by Jonathan Cape/Chatto & Windus group and then sold to Random House in 1987 where the name continued to be used until 2008. The records of The Bodley Head are held in the University of Reading and the Harry Ransom Centre.
Longmans: It is the oldest surviving English commercial publisher, founded in 1724 by Thomas Longman (1699-1755). Seven generations of the family controlled Longman until 1972 when it became part of Pearson Publishing Group. Longmans was known for being one of the publishers who commissioned Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (1746–55), as well publishing works by Wordsworth and Coledrige as well as Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh.
Macmillan: The publishing house was founded by Daniel and Alexander Macmillan in 1843. In the 19th century Macmillan published works from Charles Kingsley, Christina Rossetti, Matthew Arnold, Lewis Carroll, Alfred Tennyson and Thomas Hardy. 20th century authors published by Macmillan included: W. B. Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore, Seán O'Casey and Margaret Mitchell. Non-fiction works were also published including the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1877). From 1995-1999 Holtzbrinck Publishing Group took over the company ending the Macmillan family's ownership of the company.
Routledge: George Routledge founded the publishing firm in 1836 specialising in selling inexpensive imprints of works of fiction to rail travellers. As railways usage grew the business expanded. In 1858 the company rebranded as 'Routledge, Warne & Routledge' but by 1865 the firm was known as 'George Routledge & Sons.' From 1899 to 1902 the firm restructured following impending bankruptcy and in 1912 the firm took over the management of Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. From 1912 onwards the company concentrated on academic and scholarly publishing. in 1947, George Routledge and Sons finally merged with Kegan Paul Trench Trubner. ln 1998 Routledge became a subdivision and imprint of its the Taylor & Francis Group.
Astolat Press: The press was owned by A C Curtis, a Guildford stationer and flourished in the early 20th century. Curtis founded the press to publish works of poetry and other literature and named hte press as in Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, the town of Astolat is identified as Guildford.
Alston Rivers: L.J. Bathurst and R.B. Byles founded the press and published novels by Whyte Melville and Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Over the early 20th century Alston Rivers published travel books, poetry and novels before closing as a firm in 1930.
Ballantyne Press: Ballantyne Press was created by Walter Scott in Edinburgh in the early 19th century.
Avon Booklet: J Thomson, 10 Craven Gardens, Wimbledon published a number of reprinted works under 'Avon Booklet' from 1904-1905. Each cost one shilling.
David Douglas: David Douglas (1823–1916) was a Scottish publisher in the 19th century. He led various publishing partnerships including David Douglas, Edmonston & Douglas, and Douglas & Foulis. He published various Scottish authors including John Stuart Blackie and Dr John Brown.
Elkin Mathews: Elkin Mathews (1851-1921) opened an antiquarian bookshop in Exeter in 1884, moving to London in 1887 to establish a new shop in Vigo Street with John Lane. Together they founded the Bodley Head (named after the shop's sign) and this publishing venture was a leading imprint for avant-garde writers including Oscar Wilde, Ernest Dowson, WB Yeats and Beardsley. However the partnership ended with the publication of John Lanes periodical TheYellow Book. Mathews developed his own imprint with two successful poetry series: the ‘Shilling Garland’ and the ‘Vigo Cabinet.’.Mathews also published books by modernist writers such as Yeats' Wind among the Reeds (1899). The firm continued under Mathew's name until 1945.
Eveleigh Nash: Eveleigh Nash (1873-1956) was an early 20th century publisher. The firm published four of Arthur Conan Doyle's works in the 1920s and was known in that time period as 'Eveleigh Nash & Grayson.'
Sampson, Low & Marston: Sampson Low (1797–1886) founded the firm in London in 1848 with his eldest son. The firm issued works by authors such as Henry Morton Stanley and Jules Verne. Over the course of the 19th century the firm had various names including: Sampson Low, Son & Co; Sampson Low, Son & Marston; Sampson Low, Marston & Company; Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. The business continued to 1964.
Leonard Smithers: Leonard Smithers (1861-1907) was a London publisher associated with the Decadent movement. He was friendly with the explorer and orientalist Sir Richard Francis Burton and published Burton's translation of Book of One Thousand and One Nights (1885). Smithers published works by Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm, Aleister Crowley, Ernest Dowson, and Arthur Symons. With Symons and Beardsley, he founded The Savoy (1896). After Oscar Wilde's trials in 1895 Smithers was one of the few publishers prepared to handle "decadent" literature, such as Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898).
Ward & Downey: Ward & Downey was a partnership between Osbert Ward and Edmund Downey from 1884-1895. Some of Downey's letters are held in the National Library of Ireland.
Chiswick Press: Founded originally in 1789 by Charles Whittingham in Fetter Lane, it moved to Chiswick in 1810 and back to London in 1852 where Whittingham's nephew carried on the press until his death in 1876. The press continued until 1880 when George Bell, of George Bell & Sons acquired it. Bell's sons managed Chiswick Press until 1919 when it was incorporated as Charless Whittingham & Griggs Ltd. Many fine works were preinted to the orders of other leading publishers.
De la More Press: Alexander Moring founded it in 1895 in London. The object was 'the production of ordinary commerical work in a manner worhty of the craft and at a price which was not prohibitive.' The Press specialised in reprints of older classics and literugical books. Caslon Old Face was the type principally used.
The Egoist: Initially the publishing imprint was founded in 1916 to publish The Egoist, a philosophical and literary monthly review which ended in 1919. The Egoist Press' first publication was James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man which couldn't be circulated by ordinary publishing channels and for this reason was printed in the US.
Hogarth Press: Leonard and Virginia Woolf started this semi-public hand-press in 1917 in order to publish works which for various reasons were unfit for publication through ordinary channels. The experiment was a success and the press expanded to publish books printed for Hogarth Press by commerical printers. The preferred type is Caslon Old Face and a speiciality is bindings in coloured papers over boards.
Nonesuch Press: In 1923 the firm was founded in London by Vera Mendel with David Garnett advising on modern literature and Francis Meynell supervising book production. The press is named after the Tudor Palace of Nonesuch; the building itself and two figures from one of its preserved tapestries suggested the devices of the press. The aim of the press included "founded in the interest of those among book collectors who also use books for reading. It was set up in the determination to choose and make books according to a triple ideal: significance of subject, beauty of format and moderation of prince." Nonesuch Press published its own books but did not do the actual printing, instead using a preferred list of printers. Nonesuch Press had preferred type including: Garamond, Fell, Plantin, Baskerville, Caslon and Neuland.
Brown & Polson: Brown & Polson are best known as the patented producer of cornflour. Their cornflour is a pure fine white corn starch milled from maize grain from which the outer hull, germ and gluten have been removed by a patented milling process. It is gluten free and finely milled, therefore it is naturally smoother than ordinary flour to give superior results for cooking and baking. In the early 20th century the firm published a number of recipe books featuring cornflour.