George Eliot

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

The Birth of Perry Mason

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

Jane Eyre

Brontë’s masterpiece of Gothic romance; a milestone title in the history of British feminist literature. More

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

Bel Canto

Patchett’s critically acclaimed novel that won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction. More

Moby-Dick

Often called the greatest American novel of all time. More

Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez drew on his childhood experiences in Colombia when crafting the story of the fictional Buendía family in the classic One Hundred Years of Solitude. More

Tom Robbins

I write to twine ideas and images into big subversive pretzels of life, death, and goofiness—on the chance that, like the Trickster figure in tribal myths, they might help keep the world lively and give it the flexibility to endure. More

The Odyssey of Homer

Hailed as “the best translation there is of a great, perhaps the greatest, poet” (New York Times Book Review). More

From Printers to Publishers

James and John Harper began their business in 1817 primarily as printers, although they soon began to publish and sell original works. More

Agatha Christie

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

The Known World

The Pulitzer Prize–winning novel that examines the troubling complexities of slavery. More

V.

Winner of the William Faulkner Foundation Award for best debut novel in 1963. More

The Thorn Birds

McCullough’s sweeping family saga of forbidden love in the Australian outback; became a bestselling phenomenon. More

Freakonomics

Multimillion-copy bestseller that helped launch a wave of interest in behavioral economics and statistics. More

Go Set a Watchman

This newly discovered novel from beloved author Harper Lee became the bestselling book of 2015. 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