Explore significant moments in HarperCollins history

Lew Wallace, a Union general in the Civil War, wrote the biblical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ in 1880. More
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  • An 1885 letter from Henry Hoyns to the Harper brothers requesting a raise after being promoted to the stock desk.
  • Jane Eyre
  • Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (1912).
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
At the time of its publication in 1972, nothing like Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower had ever been published. More
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  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • Kathleen E. Woodiwiss Author of Shanna. The Flame and the Flower. (Cover)
  • Eloisa James
  • Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (Original cover)
  • Author Catharine M. Sedgwick (1832).
Beginning with This Is My Story (1937), Harper & Brothers published many works by Eleanor Roosevelt that promoted civil rights and the need for government action, including This I Remember (1949), On My Own (1958), and Tomorrow Is Now (1963). More
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  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding a new autobiographical book
  • Profiles in Courage
  • Photocopy of a newspaper review of "Their eyes were watching God"
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A Novel by Betty Smith. Original Cover. Harper & Brothers. Established 1817.
Harper & Brothers helped groom the image of a future president when it agreed in the mid-1950s to work with a young senator on a collection of biographical sketches about courageous American lawmakers. More
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  • Profiles in Courage
  • Profiles in Courage (Cover). Decisive moments in the lives of celebrated americans. Senator John F. Kennedy. Forward by Allan Nevins.
  • A Time to Heal by Gerald R. Ford (1979).
  • A New York Times advertisement announcing the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which ran on July 17, 1960.
  • Letter to Eleanor Roosevelt regarding a new autobiographical book
In 1839, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood—both already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome—sailed together out of New York harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rain forests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. More
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  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • Title pages of several books featured in Harper’s Family Library in the 1830s, including The History of the Bible and The Lives of Celebrated Travelers.
  • An illustration depicting the Harper fire of 1853.
  • The Harper “fire” and Collins “water” colophons, which were combined to create today’s “fire and water” HarperCollins logo.
  • The Adams Power Press.
Collins author Judith Kerr may be best known in the UK for her classic children’s picture books The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog the Forgetful Cat, but she is also renowned for her powerful autobiographical novels about her childhood and young adulthood. More
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  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Judith Kerr
  • Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (Cover)
  • Photocopy of a newspaper review of "Their eyes were watching God"
Launched during the Great Depression in the spare bedroom of a Michigan farmhouse, the publishing house of Zondervan was never a conventional religious publisher. More
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  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The Zondervan brothers
  • Zondervan Farmhouse
  • Zondervan Publishing House (Logo) Circa 1989
  • The Late Great Planet Earth. The National Best Seller by Hal Lindsey with C.C. Carlson. A penetrating look at incredible prophecies involving this generation. (Cover)
Ten thousand miles from his homeland, Scotsman David Mackenzie Angus paid £50 to open a small bookshop on Market Street in Sydney, Australia. More
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  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • A&R LTD Logo
  • HarperCollins Global Publishing (Logo)
Born in London in 1944, Bernard Cornwell grew up in Essex and, after a stint as a teacher, moved on to the BBC, where he took a job as a producer in Northern Ireland. More
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  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Bernard Cornwell
  • Sharpe’s Eagle
  • Papillon
  • Moby Dick
Lawrence Heisey, a former soap salesman who had been appointed president of Harlequin in 1971, revolutionized romance publishing by distributing Harlequin romances to supermarkets and department stores, where they would be right at the fingertips of Canadian and American homemakers. More
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  • Collection of books
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
  • Prince Charles reading a Harlequin Mills & Boon title
  • The Hospital in Buwambo by Anne Vinton, Harlequin’s first reprint (1957) of a Mills & Boon romance.
  • A collection of titles published by Harlequin.
Head of William Morrow and Company (later acquired by HarperCollins) since the death of its founder in 1931, Thayer Hobson searched widely for promising new authors, often traveling to Europe in pursuit of his next big title. More
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  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner (William Morrow, 1933) and The Corpse in the Green Pyjamas by R. A. J. Walling (Avon Books, 1941).
  • An Armed Services Edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943).
  • neil gaiman
  • And Then There Were None
Beginning in 1830, the Harper brothers believed that the increasingly literate populace might clamor for turnkey collections. More
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  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • HarperCollins Publishers (Since 1817) 200 Years Anniversary Logo
  • The Harper “fire” and Collins “water” colophons, which were combined to create today’s “fire and water” HarperCollins logo.
HarperCollins’s Amistad Press is the oldest imprint devoted to titles for the African American market at any major New York publishing house. More
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  • Editions of Color by Countee Cullen (1925), The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003), Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks (1949), and a 1978 edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1934).
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • A leader of his people tells The Montgomery Story. Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cover)
  • Telegram dated October 21, 1982, in which Harper editor Cass Canfield Jr. congratulates Gabriel García Márquez on winning the Pulitzer Prize for One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  • A Time to Heal by Gerald R. Ford (1979).
For years, the Harper brothers relied on a white draft horse named Dobbin, who plodded a circular path in the basement of their offices, turning a wooden shaft that powered the Treadwell hand press two floors above, until new technology sent him out to pasture. More
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  • An illustration depicting the Harper fire of 1853.
  • An advertisement for the Collins Select Library of Christian Authors, which ran in The School Newspaper on January 2, 1882.
  • An ad promoting all of the Harper periodicals: Harper’s Weekly, Harper’s New Monthly, and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • “A Word of Apology” from Harper & Brothers regarding the Harper fire of 1853
The house of Collins acquired “Queen of Crime” Agatha Christie after she disagreed with her former publisher over the spelling of “coco”/”cocoa” in her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. More
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  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • Agatha Christie and Collins enjoying a drink at a party.
  • And Then There Were None
  • A 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
  • Agatha Christie
William Collins V (known as Billy Collins) and the printers AdPrint came up with the idea of the New Naturalist Library in 1942. More
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  • Life On Earth
  • Illustration from Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843).
  • Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Collins Glasgow offices
  • An edition of Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible from 1846.
  • The Kon-Tiki Expedition
James and John Harper began their business in 1817 primarily as printers, although they soon began to publish and sell original works. More
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  • The Harper “fire” and Collins “water” colophons, which were combined to create today’s “fire and water” HarperCollins logo.
  • HarperCollins Publishers (Since 1817) 200 Years Anniversary Logo
  • The 1859 license granted to William Collins and Company, giving it permission to print the Bible.
  • An 1885 letter from Henry Hoyns to the Harper brothers requesting a raise after being promoted to the stock desk.
  • The Adams Power Press.
Collins maintained combined office and warehouse space at Bridewell Place in London for many years, and in 1917, its new London publishing office at 48 Pall Mall was complemented by printing works in Mayfair that included a state-of-the-art bindery, warehouse, and distribution center. More
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  • HarperCollins Global Publishing (Logo)
  • HarperCollins Publishers (Since 1817) 200 Years Anniversary Logo
  • The Harper “fire” and Collins “water” colophons, which were combined to create today’s “fire and water” HarperCollins logo.
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • Agatha Christie.
In 1860, Harper & Brothers had paid Wilkie Collins £750 for The Woman in White, which heralded the publisher’s entry into the crime and mystery genre. More
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  • And Then There Were None
  • The Woman in White
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • The Woman in White. A Novel. By Wilkie Sollins, author of "The Queen of hearts," "Antonia," "The Dead Secret," "After Dark" Illustrated by John McLenan. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers/ Franklin Square 1860
In response to global paper shortages during World War II, Canada began manufacturing books for international markets in 1941. More
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  • A planning meeting at Collins Canada, circa 1940s
  • The 1940 destruction of the Collins Bridewell Place offices.
  • Internal memo from Collins Canada announcing a hot air balloon publicity stunt
  • Original contract for Thorn-Apple Tree
  • Australian author Banjo Paterson, best known for writing “The Man from Snowy River.”
By the 1990s, Harlequin had become synonymous with romance novels, grown the category into a score of successful subgenre lines, opened offices around the world, and seen its books made available in more than 100 countries and 30 languages. More
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  • Collection of books
  • The Hospital in Buwambo by Anne Vinton, Harlequin’s first reprint (1957) of a Mills & Boon romance.
  • Lawrence Heisey, a former soap salesman who was appointed president of Harlequin in 1971.
  • The Perfect Neighbor
  • An advertisement for Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E. B. White, published in The New York Times on January 19, 1930.
Inspired by an occasion in which she attempted to find an appropriate book for a young boy who had just learned to read, Boston librarian Virginia Haviland telephoned her friend Ursula Nordstrom, the head of children’s publishing at Harper & Brothers. More
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  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Virginia Kirkus.
  • Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik. Pictures bt Maurice Sendak. an I CAN READ book. (Cover)
  • Stuart Little
  • Ursula Nordstrom.
Shortly after the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and ‘56, Harper & Brothers religious books editor Eugene Exman left New York City for Alabama and secured a meeting with Martin Luther King Jr. More
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  • A page from the Fall 1937 Harper & Brothers catalog touting This Is My Story by Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • An Armed Services Edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943).
  • A leader of his people tells The Montgomery Story. Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Cover)
  • New York Times advertisement for Profiles in Courage from May 19, 1957.
  • Sympathy telegram to Coretta Scott King following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
In October 1936, Stanley Unwin, chairman of British publishers George Allen & Unwin (later acquired by HarperCollins), received a children’s book submission. More
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  • J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • A 1961 edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia #1)
  • The Inklings.
William Collins spent his earliest years teaching before starting his publishing venture in 1819. More
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  • The logo and address for J. & J. Harper Publishers
  • William Collins II.
  • Illustration from Incidents of Travel in Yucatán (1843).
  • Collins New Complete Atlas
  • King James Version Bible (KJV)
In 1958, an editor at Collins named Barbara Ker Wilson received a manuscript submission about a talking bear, which she opened with “initial suspicion” —as the publisher had received many other proposals featuring humanized animals that “are invariably either whimsy-whamsy, written down, or filled with adult innuendoes.” More
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  • Michael Bond
  • A letter from J. R. R. Tolkien to his editor regarding the first chapter of his “sequel” to The Hobbit, titled “A Long-expected Party”—which would become the first chapter of The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Stuart Little
  • The Cat in the Hat
It was in 1993 that George R. R. Martin–already an acclaimed author of science fiction and horror novels, and well known for his work in Hollywood as a screenwriter on The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast–decided he needed a broader outlet for his creativity and conceived of A Song of Ice and Fire, a truly monumental fantasy series. More
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  • A Game of Thrones
  • A Game of Thrones
  • Divergent
  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • First edition paperback of Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwell (1981).