Herman Melville and Moby-Dick

Harper & Brothers turned down Herman Melville’s first book, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, and it was released to strong sales by another publisher. 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

Incidents of Travel in Yucatán

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

Crime & Mystery At HarperCollins

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

Mark Twain

In 1866, with mostly newspaper articles and other short works to his name, Mark Twain accepted an assignment from the Sacramento Union to produce a weekly column from Hawaii. More

The Harper Fire of 1853

The Harper offices in New York City were claimed by fire in 1853, when a plumber lit a lamp with a roll of paper and then attempted to extinguish the burning roll in a tub of water. More

The Woman in White

One of the earliest works of detective fiction, this story caused a sensation with readers at the time. More

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

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

James Harper, Mayor Of New York City

With corruption rampant in New York City politics, the newly formed American Republican Party convinced James Harper, one of the brothers who had founded J. & J. Harper in 1817, to run for mayor. More

Bleak House

Dickens’s tenth novel, often considered his finest; significantly influenced the development of mystery novels. More

Education and Publishing

Beginning in 1830, the Harper brothers believed that the increasingly literate populace might clamor for turnkey collections. More

A Christmas Carol

Dickens’s beloved classic of the meaning of Christmas that has inspired countless adaptations. More

George Eliot

Mary Anne Evans, born in 1819, led a turbulent life that often broke with Victorian social norms. More

The HarperCollins Logo

The HarperCollins logo represents the 1990 consolidation of Harper & Row, based in New York, and Collins Publishers, based in London and Glasgow. More