Social Change: Women Writers

In the mid-late 1800s, Harper & Brothers reprinted several milestone titles in the history of British feminist literature as well as the global canon, such as Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847), Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), as well as George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1872). More

Publishing Firsts: Stereotyping

The Harper brothers first began publishing in the early 1800s, when emerging technologies were fundamentally changing the process of printing–replacing the painstaking compositing, inking, and pulling processes needed for each page. More

Ben-Hur

Lew Wallace, a Union general in the Civil War, wrote the biblical novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ in 1880. More

The Exorcist

The first horror story to reach number one on the New York Times bestseller list. More

1908: Collins obtains New Zealand Post Office Box #1…

During a time of expansion for Collins in New Zealand, the company obtains New Zealand Post Office Box #1 (which it continues to use to this day) and moves to a new building on Wyndham Street, which at eight stories high, was then Auckland’s tallest building. More

Caedmon Records and Audiobooks

In 1952, Barbara Cohen and Marianne Roney, a pair of recent college graduates, wrote a letter to Welsh poet Dylan Thomas that contained an unusual business proposal. More

Original contract for Thorn-Apple Tree

Grace Campbell’s debut novel, Thorn-Apple Tree, was one of the earliest works of fiction written by a Canadian to be published by William Collins Sons & Co. Canada Ltd. More

Social Change: Thomas Nast, Illustrator

Illustrator Thomas Nast first made his name documenting the Civil War in all its gruesome reality, but he is best known for developing the political cartoon form and our modern depictions of Santa Claus. More

J.R.R. Tolkien and the Trilogy

Sir Stanley Unwin, chairman of British publishers George Allen & Unwin (later acquired by HarperCollins), originally rejected the 9,250-page manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, the sequel to J. R. R. Tolkien’s moderately successful (at the time) The Hobbit, as it was too long, and the author would make a deal with the publisher only if they also agreed to take another of his unfinished books. More

Publishing Firsts: Producing Books Electronically

Although word-processing programs and electronic typewriters had been around since the late 1960s, Harper & Row was the first to help pioneer electronic publishing with Andrew Garve’s The Long Short Cut in 1968, which was, according to the New York Times, “the first book set into type completely by electronic composition.” More