Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Imprint
Jackson, F. Ernest Mason, J. H. Johnston, Edward
Persistente ID:
The House of Macmillan 
upon the more hazardous enterprise of publishing, for Daniel Macmillan 
was quick to grasp the possibilities of such a connection as they had formed 
on the bookselling side. " Our retail trade," he wrote to MacLehose in 18 5 5, 
" will chiefly be valuable as bringing about us men who will grow into 
authors. Most of the able young men in the University are our customers, 
and many of them most kind friends." The Macmillans did not deal specially 
in fiction in those early days, though Kingsley's " Westward Ho l " and 
Thomas Hughes's " Tom Brown's Schooldays "-the author of which was 
subsequently to become his publisher's biographer-were alone sufficient 
to lift their publications in this department high above the ordinary ruck. 
The majority of their books at that period were of a weightier nature, and 
justified the saying that the business was "founded on Broad Church 
theology and Cambridge mathematics." 
When Daniel died in I857, his eldest son, now Sir Frederick Orridge 
Macmillan, Iustice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, 
was only some six years old, the supreme control of the firm passing into 
the able hands of Alexander Macmillan, who decided to open a branch in 
London. The new move was a conspicuous success. It was not many years 
before the first offices in Henrietta Street had to give place to larger quarters 
in Bedford Street. Here, under the joint management of Alexander Mac- 
millan and the late George Lillie Craik (husband of the author of " ]ohn 
Halifax, Gentleman  who remained an unostentatious but invaluable 
partner for close upon forty years, the fortunes of the house went ahead by 
leaps and bounds. A list of all the authors who have helped to make the 
house of Macmillan what it is, would include a remarkably large proportion 
of the great names in English literature during the last sixty or seventy 
years. Among the most treasured possessions of the firm is an old oak table, 
bearing the autographs of Tennyson-whose son, the present Lord Tenny- 
son, writes, in his life of the poet, that " Alexander Macmillan's enthusiasm 
for his authors was especially remarkable "-Herbert Spencer, Canon 
Ainger, ]ohn Stuart Blackie, David Masson-the first editor of the old 
" Macmillan's Magazine," one of whose successors was Viscount Morley- 
Coventry Patmore, and many other distinguished men, who used to gather 
round it at the publisher's receptions. The history of the house is bound up 
in the fortunes of whole libraries of favourite books, too numerous to 
mention in the limited space at my disposal. Mrs. Henry Wood is probably 
the author with the largest circulation, the sales of her novels now being 
reckoned by the million; but " Tom Brown's Schooldays," which ran 


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