Information on the Macmillans has been derived largely from five sources: Charles Morgan’s The House of Macmillan; Rosemary T. Van Arsdel’s essay in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 106, pp. 178-195; the same author’s entry on the Macmillan Family in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, pp. 863-76; Elizabeth James, ed., Macmillan: A Publishing Tradition (Basingstoke, Hants. and New York: Palgrave, 2002); and A Bibliographical Catalogue of Macmillan and Co.’s Publications from 1843 to 1889

Decorated initial M

ne of the largest and most influential publishing houses in the English-speaking world was founded by two brothers born into a deeply religious crofting family -- on the mountainous Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde in the case of Daniel (1813-1857), the elder brother, and in the small Ayrshire port town of Irvine across the Firth on the mainland in the case of Alexander (1818-1896), the younger. Their father, who continued to keep a few cows and to cultivate some acres of land after the move to Irvine, but also worked as a carter carrying coal from the nearby pits to the harbor at Irvine, died in 1823 and his twelve children were raised by their mother, Katherine Crawford, the daughter of a slightly better-off farmer on Arran, and by their oldest brother, a schoolmaster of twenty-five at the time of their father’s death. In the new family circumstances, Daniel had to give up schooling and start earning a living. He was indentured for a period of seven years to a bookseller in Irvine at a salary of eighteen pence a week, serving so well that at the age of fifteen he was left in charge of the shop while his master went to London on business. In 1831, his apprenticeship having ended, he went to work first for a bookseller in Stirling and then for a bookseller in Glasgow, who also left him in charge while on a trip to London and rewarded him for his diligence and sound judgment with a substantial bonus. This allowed him to imagine new ventures of his own, but the first signs of the tuberculosis that was to kill him at a fairly young age forced him to return to Irvine to be taken care of by his mother.

Alexander Macmillan. Lithograph by an unknown artist. 1860s. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. Click on image to enlarge it

Once over the worst of his illness he made his way to London to look for work there. During his time In Glasgow he had made the acquaintance of James MacLehose, who was to be the founder, in the late 1830s, of the prominent Glasgow bookselling and subsequently printing and publishing firm that still bears his name. MacLehose had gone to London as an assistant in Seeley’s Fleet Street bookstore and shared his lodgings with Daniel while the younger man desperately looked for a job with various London publishers and booksellers. In the end, he had to accept a position in Cambridge but returned to Scotland soon after the death of his mother and would have settled for a position as shopman to a stationer in Leith had MacLehose not contrived to find a position for him at the Fleet Street bookstore where he himself had been employed. In 1839, Daniel persuaded Seeley’s to take on his brother Alexander also. Alexander had worked at various poorly paid occupations and had even sailed to America in the hope of improving his lot. Less well read than his brother, he set out to remedy that situation on joining Seeley’s, becoming a keen fan of Shelley in particular. He drew up a selection of poems or parts of poems that particularly pleased him, added a short biographical sketch, and succeeded in having the little volume published anonymously by George Bell who had just opened shop in 1839, first in Bouverie Street and then, the following year, in Fleet Street, not far from Seeley’s.

F.D. Maurice

By 1843 the brothers felt they had acquired sufficient experience – Daniel was thirty, Alexander twenty-five -- to open a bookselling business of their own in Aldersgate Street, where the rent was affordable. As this was not the best location for a bookstore, however, when an opportunity arose later that year to acquire a bookseller’s business in Cambridge, the brothers seized it, thanks to the financial assistance of Julius Hare, the well-to-do, cultured Archdeacon of Lewes in Sussex, a former student and subsequently fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, with whom they had established friendly relations through their enthusiastic interest in writings on religious topics and, in particular, in those of Hare’s friend, F.D. Maurice, a graduate, like Hare, of Trinity, the author of The Kingdom of Christ (1838), and one of the founders of Christian Socialism. Among the earliest of the brothers’ publications as they began gradually to extend their activities from bookselling to publishing was a reprint in 1844 of William Law’s critical Remarks of 1724 on Mandeville’s celebrated Fable of the Bees (1714), with an introduction by Maurice. The Macmillan brothers remained devout Christians all their lives and Maurice, whom they described as their “prophet,” remained throughout the years, one of their most frequently published authors. As he had studied at Cambridge, it may well have been he who introduced a number of Cambridge scholars to the brothers when they first started out in the little university city. In any case the Macmillan bookshop in Trinity Street quickly became a haunt of both faculty and students. An upper common room, reserved precisely for the purpose, was soon the scene of lively discussions of philosophy, theology, and social issues among students, faculty, and townspeople visiting the store -- discussions in which Daniel and especially Alexander (for Daniel had frequent bouts of illness that required him to leave Cambridge) took part. The list of publications in the 1840s and 50s, in which – a characteristic of so many Scottish publishers – religion, science, Greek and Latin classics, and textbooks for schools predominate, is notable for the number of works authored or edited by fellows of Cambridge colleges.

Charles Kingsley

Maurice’s greatest contribution to the success of the Macmillans as publishers, however, was bringing to them a former student (Maurice held a position as professor of English, History and Theology at King’s College in London), the Reverend Charles Kingsley, rector of a village in Hampshire. Except for a short pamphlet entitled “Cheap Clothes and Nasty” (1850), an attack on the shocking working conditions in the London tailors’ trade, Kingsley’s first publication with the brothers was Phaeton, or Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers, a hundred-page long philosophical meditation presented in lively, fictional form. The little octavo volume, put out in 1852, appears to have sold moderately well, since a second edition appeared in 1854 – that is, before the enormous success of the author’s Westward Ho! -- and a third in 1858.

It was indeed, however, Westward Ho! that put Kingsley — and Macmillan — on the map and provided the company with a solid financial foundation. With its idea of a “muscular Christianity” committed to fighting the evils in Victorian society, Westward Ho! turned out to be a best-seller. The original three-decker of 1855, each volume of which was over 300 pages, had a print-run of 1250 copies (relatively large for the time), with a second printing of 750 copies only three months later, and a third, of 6,000 copies, in 1857. Between 1861 and 1889 there were fifteen further reprints or new editions, barely two or three years apart. The sixpenny edition of that last year sold 500,000 copies. Kingsley continued to entertain close and friendly relations with Macmillan – “A thousand thanks for your obligingness,” he wrote to Alexander in 1856. “You certainly are a most pleasant person to deal with” (Morgan, p. 28) – and to produce works for the company (about 40 in all), among them some that turned out, like Westward Ho!, to be best-sellers and a few that are still read and republished in our own time: Glaucus, Or the Wonders of the Shore (five editions between 1855 and 1878), The Water-Babies (fourteen editions between 1863 and 1889), Hypatia (thirteen editions between 1863 and 1886, with a sixpenny edition in 1889), Hereward the Wake (four editions between 1866 and 1889). Kingsley’s most successful works, whatever their underlying theme, took the form of fiction, and while Macmillan continued to publish scholarly books on religion, philosophy, and science, along with educational books and the great texts of classical antiquity, the enormous success of Westward Ho! appears to have encouraged the firm to re-orient itself toward the hitherto neglected field of fiction. One of the first fictional works to follow Kingsley’s was another huge success, Thomas HughesTom Brown’s School Days, about which the author had told the Macmillans “I’m going to make your fortune” (Morgan, p. 45). Published anonymously in April 1857, Tom Brown’s School Days sold 11,000 copies by the end of the year.

The turn to fiction coincided with a development contemplated by the brothers for some time and realized shortly after Daniel’s death in 1857 from the TB that had plagued him throughout his life, namely the opening in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, of a London branch of the company. Though the head office remained in Cambridge for a time, Alexander came to London every Thursday and, following the pattern he and Daniel had set in Cambridge, welcomed his authors, prospective authors, and friends, to gatherings at the Henrietta Street premises that came to be known as the “Tobacco Parliaments.” Alexander took a keen interest in the work of his writers and they appreciated his engagement and advice. Leading figures in the literary and intellectual world, such as Hughes, Thomas Henry Huxley, Kingsley, Maurice, Francis Turner Palgrave, Coventry Patmore, Herbert Spencer, and Alfred Tennyson (“he smokes like a good Christian,” Alexander said of him [Morgan, pp. 57-58]) would come together to smoke (for Alexander, it appears, “there was always something orgiastic in the idea of smoking” — Quoted Morgan, p. 57), take tea and spirits, and discuss the major issues of the day. The result appears to have been a reinforcing of the expansion, already under way, of the firm’s range of publications and the launching in November 1859 – two months before the Cornhill of Smith and Elder—of the first of the monthly shilling magazines.

Over the forty-eight years of its existence, Macmillan’s Magazine­ hosted -- in addition to poetry by Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, Longfellow, George Meredith, and Matthew Arnold, essays by Arnold, Spencer, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Harriet Martineau -- works of fiction in serial form by Kingsley, Margaret Oliphant, Thomas Hardy, and the American writers Francis Marion Crawford and Henry James. Arnold and Alexander Macmillan had a particularly close relationship of mutual respect and trust, with well over two dozen volumes of essays and poems by Arnold being published, frequently reprinted, and put out in new editions by the house of Macmillan (Bell, pp. 52-69). Though the Tennyson connection was somewhat less smooth, Tennyson being a notoriously hard bargainer, Alexander was a true admirer of his work. In a letter of January 1884, written on the occasion of a new contract with the poet to Tennyson’s wife Emily, herself a poet, Alexander recounted that “it is just forty years since I first read ‘Poems by Alfred Tennyson’, and got bitten by a healthy mania from which I have not recovered – and don’t want to recover. [. . .] How much I owe to Alfred Tennyson for the increase of ennobling thought & feeling, no one can tell. Now our closer connection will not lessen my desire to repay the debt” (quoted in Millgate, p. 132).

Palgrave’s Golden Treasury

Two years after the first appearance of the company’s magazine, Alexander published Palgrave’s Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language, which soon became a classic anthology frequently revised (for what appear to have been moral reasons, Palgrave did not include Blake, Donne, or even Coleridge’s “Kubla Kahn” in the original edition) and brought up to date. Cautiously, Alexander limited the first printing, in July 1861, to 1,000 copies, but reprints followed in October, November and December of the same year, and fourteen further reprints were issued between 1862 and 1883. A new edition with many additions appeared in 1884, to be reprinted every year until 1888 (Bibliographical Catalogue, p. 80). Further editions of this work are still being produced in the twenty-first century.

Hard on the heels of Palgrave’s Golden Treasury came, in 1862, the Golden Treasury Series of old and new literary classics. The early volumes featured works by Bacon, Bunyan, Cowper, Defoe, Milton, and Matthew Arnold’s selections from Byron and Wordsworth; by 1890, the series included over forty authors, including near-contemporaries such as Longfellow and Tennyson. A spin-off of the series was Coventry Patmore’s Children’s Garland (1862), a selection of poems for the young by both old and fairly recent writers, including Blake, Coleridge, Cowper, Keats, Longfellow, Milton, Scott, Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Wordsworth, as well as some traditional ballads. In 1868 the Globe Editions were initiated, beginning with a Globe Shakespeare, inspired by a nine-volume scholarly edition of the master put out by Macmillan in collaboration with Cambridge University Press in 1863-1866. Alexander described his intention, at once educational and commercial, in a letter to his friend, the Glasgow printer and publisher MacLehose:

I enclose a page for a Shakespeare, which I fancy doing in one volume, on tone paper, for 3s. 6d., very nicely bound in Macmillan’s choicest cloth binding. The text to be gone over by our Cambridge editors, but done in this edition with an eye to more popular uses than they felt themselves at liberty to consider in their critical and scholarly edition. [. . .] Your judgment is always as you know precious to me. [. . .] I want you to tell me, whether you think I have a reasonable chance of selling 50,000 of such a book in three years. For if so, I can do a nice stroke of business. You see it would be immeasurably the cheapest, most beautiful and handy book that has appeared of any kind, except the Bible. [Quoted in Murphy, p. 175]

After a slow start in the first weeks, the publication took off and twenty thousand copies were sold in a few months. Alexander lost no time extending the series to a wide range of ancient and modern poets, from Virgil and Horace to Spenser, Burns, Scott, and George Meredith, with most volumes going through multiple reprints. The Virgil volume, for instance, published in 1871, was reprinted in 1873. 1874, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1885 and 1889; a Goldsmith volume, first published in 1869 had to be reprinted in 1871, 1874, 1878, 1881, 1884 and 1889 (A Bibliographical Catalogue).

1878 saw the launch of the English Men of Letters series, a pet project of John Morley, a writer himself and the editor of the Cornhill magazine, a leading if somewhat maverick liberal in politics, a future M.P. for Newcastle (1883), Chief Secretary for Ireland under Gladstone (1886), and one of Alexander Macmillan’s most trusted readers. The volumes in the first two years of this series included presentations of the life and work of Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen, of Shelley by John Addington Symonds, of Thackeray by Anthony Trollope, of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Henry James, and of Hume by Thomas Huxley. Many other writers (among them Burns, Carlyle, Defoe, Gibbon, Goldsmith, Milton, Scott, Spenser) were the subjects of later volumes with thirty-nine in all having been published by the time the first series was closed down in 1892. (A second series was begun in 1902.) Morley’s rationale for the English Men of Letters series communicates a sense of the cultural (as well, indirectly, as the commercial) considerations that, as we have seen, underlay not only other Macmillan series -- such as the Golden Treasury, the Globe Library, the Colonial Library, launched in 1886 and designed primarily for the Indian market, and the English Classics series, begun the following year with an edition of Scott’s Marmion that included an introduction and notes by the editor – but, in all probability, similar collections by other publishing companies with strong Scottish backgrounds, such as Blackie, Collins, and Nelson.

Our object is -- and it is that which in my opinion raises us infinitely above the Athenian level -- to bring the Periclean ideals of beauty and simplicity and cultivation of the mind within the reach of those who do the drudgery and service and rude work of the world. And it can be done -- do not let us be afraid -- it can be done without in the least degree impairing the skill of our handicraftsmen or the manliness of our national life (Morgan, p. 146).

The series’ aim, in sum, is to promote the education and cultural improvement of the lower classes without provoking demands for drastic social or political change – indeed, perhaps, as a means of fending off radicalism and undesirable change -- while at the same time (though, unlike Alexander himself, Morley does not mention this) achieving substantial sales by addressing a mass market. Sales were indeed impressive and most of the volumes in the series were frequently reprinted. J.C. Morison’s Gibbon, for instance, published in May, 1878, had to be reprinted in October of the same year and then again in 1879, 1880, and 1887; Leslie Stephen’s Johnson, also published in May 1878, was reprinted in July of the same year and in 1879, 1880, 1882, 1885, 1886, and 1888.

All in all, Macmillan did a fine job of making both early and fairly recent English literature -- as well as some classic and more modern texts of French literature (Corneille, Daudet, Dumas, Molière, Racine. George Sand, De Tocqueville) and German literature (Goethe, Heine, Klopstock, Schiller, Uhland) in translation -- accessible to a broad public. The firm also promoted a number of important contemporary writers, not least the American novelists Francis Marion Crawford and Henry James, the essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the essayist and poet Oliver Wendell Homes Sr., and the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, all of whom are generously represented among the company’s authors. (Macmillan had opened a New York branch of the company in 1869.) Tennyson was a friend of Alexander Macmillan and his work figures prominently in the company’s lists. Though relations with Lewis Carroll were more complicated, Macmillan brought out Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1866) and Through the Looking Glass (1872), both of which went through countless reprints and were also published by Macmillan in French and German translations, as well as the rather less successful Hunting of the Snark (1877) and Sylvie and Bruno (1889). Between 1862 and 1881 four volumes of poetry by Christina Rossetti appeared. While George Meredith’s novels came out with other publishers, Macmillan brought out three volumes of his poetry (1883, 1887, 1888). Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean appeared in 1885. As noted above, Matthew Arnold was one of Macmillan’s most prolific and loyal authors, his work being much admired by Alexander Macmillan personally. “I have read the greater part of your volume through, with care & great admiration,” Alexander wrote to “my dear Arnold” on the occasion of the publication of the latter’s New Poems (1867). “Empedocles is a noble poem. I had only a dim remembrance of it, and thought of it as obscure. I did not find it so this reading. I really think you should succeed” (quoted in Bell, p. 58). Essays in Criticism (1865) was followed by several volumes of Arnold’s poems (1867, 1869, 1877) and by his editions of Wordsworth (1874) and Byron (1881), to say nothing of his many essays on issues of culture and education.

Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling

Despite hesitations and some early rejections, Macmillan also published Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling in the last decades of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th. As noted earlier, Hardy’s The Woodlanders first appeared in serial form in the company’s Magazine and was then published as a separate volume in 1887. Wessex Tales appeared the following year. In 1902, Hardy’s contract with Harper & Brothers having run its course, he offered his books to Macmillan “in view of my long personal acquaintance with the members of your firm” (Morgan, p. 154). In the correspondence that ensued, there was much discussion of putting out inexpensive popular editions of Hardy’s works. A Laodician (1903), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1904), The Dynasts (1904-08), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1908), soon came out as part of Hardy’s Complete Works in Prose and Verse (1903-1914).

A fair number of stories and poems by Kipling had already been accepted for publication in Macmillan’s Magazine when the publisher brought out Plain Tales from the Hills in 1890. As Kipling quickly became an international success (a French translation of Kim appeared in 1901 and Kipling was deeply admired by André Maurois, who translated several of his poems), he was soon being solicited by a range of publishers, including Methuen, Sampson and Lowe, and Scribner’s of New York, whose interest in his work he exploited to the full. Macmillan cannot therefore claim to have “discovered” or particularly promoted Kipling. Nevertheless, the company remained one of this author’s most constant and reliable publishers. A first edition of His Private Honour was brought out by Macmillan in 1891; Life’s Handicap and Barrack-Room Ballads followed in 1893, The Jungle Book in 1894, The Second Jungle Book in 1895, Soldiers Three also in 1895, Wee Willie Winkie and The Light that Failed in 1896, Captains Courageous in 1897, Stalky & Co. in 1899, the Just So Stories in 1902 and Puck of Pooks Hill in 1906. The Kipling Reader, a selection of his tales, appeared in 1900, with reprints in 1901, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1918 (twice), 1919 (twice), 1920, 1921, and 1923.

George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells

In contrast to its ultimately fairly successful dealings with Hardy and Kipling, the Macmillan company did not establish a firm relationship with George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells. Alexander Macmillan followed his readers’ advice and rejected the first two submissions by Shaw – the novels Immaturity in 1880 and The Irrational Knot in 1881 – albeit the first was acknowledged by the company’s reader, John Morley, to have “a certain quality about it” and to be “undoubtedly clever,” while the second was judged to be “clearly the work of a man with a certain originality and courage of mind.” A couple of years later Macmillan again declined an opportunity to publish Shaw, this time the novel Cashel Byron’s Profession. A report dated 22 January 1884 described the work as “by no means without flavor or originality; the writing too is brisk and rapid. But the story is too whimsical for anything” (Morgan, pp. 119, 126). The manuscript was rejected by other publishers also, except for two small London houses, The Modern Press in 1886 and the Walter Scott Company in 1889. It was 1901 before it was brought out by a major publishing company -- Constable, as it happens. Undeterred, Shaw submitted a fourth work, An Unsocial Socialist, to Macmillan in 1885. John Morley’s judgment was again mixed, but by no means unfavorable, and worth quoting at length:

A curious bit of writing which has appeared in the socialist magazine Today, It is a jeu d’esprit, or satire, with a good stroke of socialist meaning in it.

The story is designedly paradoxical, absurd, and impossible. [. . .] But whoever he may be, the author knows how to write; he is pointed, rapid, forcible, sometimes witty, often powerful, and occasionally eloquent. I suppose one must call his book a trifle, but it is a clever trifle. Would it be popular? I half fear that it is too clever for the general. [. . .] Nor are the pages of socialist irony upon things as they are, and a priori demonstrations of the injustice of private property, very attractive to a large public. The present book is Ruskinian doctrine; theories with a whimsical and deliberately extravagant story served up with pungent literary sauce. The result is a dish, which I fancy only the few would relish. On the other hand, the subject is much in vogue [. . .] and the writer has a telling style of presenting current arguments. I would not prophesy a financial success [. . .] but the writer, if he is young, is a man to keep one’s eye upon. [Quoted Morgan, pp. 127-28]

In rejecting Shaw’s submission, Macmillan wrote that the company “would be glad to look at anything else he might write of a more substantial kind.” Shaw responded that the reader had seemingly judged the book trivial and not serious “perhaps because it was not dull,” which he attributed to the reader’s [Morley] being English. The two readers who had really been able to “take the book in” had been “both Scotchmen.” Moreover, “when one deals with two large questions in a novel, and throws in an epitome of modern German socialism as set forth by Marx as a makeweight, it is rather startling to be met with an implied accusation of triviality.” Shaw divined, rightly it would seem, that it was primarily a commercial consideration, namely the outlook for sales, that had led to his book’s being turned down – as Macmillan essentially admitted in a reply to Shaw’s measured response: “What we really doubt is whether the book would find enough readers.” To that, in his view, more honest explanation, Shaw again responded courteously: “Surely, out of thirty millions of copyright persons (so to speak) there must be a few thousand who would keep me in bread and cheese for the sake of my story-telling, if you would only let me get at them” (Morgan, pp. 128-29). Inevitably Macmillan lost Shaw to other publishers and in the end, the only work of his that the company published was a nine-page illustrated article entitled “Wagner in Bayreuth,” that appeared in volume 7 (October, 1889, pp. 49-57) of The English Illustrated Magazine, a monthly edited by Macmillan from 1883 to 1893.

The Wells connection was not quite so unsuccessful, but decidedly mixed. By the time Macmillan put out Kipps in 1905, Wells had already published The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The War of the Worlds with Heinemann in 1895, 1896, and 1898 respectively; When the Sleeper Awakes, Tales of Space and Time, and Love and Mr. Lewisham (1899 and 1900) with Harpers; The Sea Lady: A Tissue of Moonshine with Methuen (1903); and Twelve Stories and a Dream and The Food of the Gods with Macmillan (1903 and 1904). Perhaps because Kipps was not well promoted, it did not sell well. (Between July 1906 and July 1907 only 180 copies had been sold.) Macmillan agreed therefore to let Wells out of his contract and approach another publisher (Morgan, p. 146). “I note your offer to relinquish my books,” Wells wrote to Frederick Macmillan. “I like your firm in many ways. I don’t think you advertise well and I think you’re out of touch with the contemporary movement in literature. I don’t think you have any idea of what could be done for me (but that you will of course attribute to the Vanity of Authors). But on the other hand you’re solid & sound & sane” (Wells Correspondence, II, 161). Wells received an offer from Nelson in late 1907 and between the summer of 1908 and October of that year Nelson had sold 43,000 copies of Kipps. The History of Mr. Polly also went to Nelson in 1910. In the Days of the Comet and Tono-Bungay meantime had already been accepted by Macmillan and were put out in 1906 and 1909 respectively, but Ann Veronica was turned down, the plot being deemed, as Frederick Macmillan explained, “distasteful to the public which buys books published by our firm.” Wells’ latest novel went instead to Fisher Unwin. The New Machiavelli met with the same fate – though it was also rejected by other publishers until John Lane of The Bodley Head issued it in 1911. Macmillan did take up three other works by Wells –The World Set Free: A Story of Mankind (1914) and the novels The Passionate Friends (1913) and The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman (1914) -- but he was by no means a Macmillan author in the way Matthew Arnold and Charles Kingsley had been at an earlier time and from 1914 until his death in 1946 the Macmillan company published nothing more by this startlingly prolific and successful writer. Publishing had, of course, become a much more capital-intensive business by the end of the nineteenth century and the relations of authors and publishers were much more determined by competition and commercial negotiations than had earlier been the case.

Macmillan also dropped the ball somewhat later in the cases of Max Beerbohm, Hilaire Belloc, Laurence Binyon, André Gide, and Herbert Read. On the other hand, in the first decades of the twentieth century the company became the preferred publisher of some notable masters of English literature: 1923 Nobel prizewinning poet W.B. Yeats (as of 1903); Indian poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore, whose first collection of poems, Gitanjali, which Macmillan published in 1913, won him the Nobel Prize for literature that same year; Sean O’Casey (as of 1925); and the prolific and immensely popular New-Zealand born novelist Hugh Walpole (as of 1919).

Spreading the Word: Scottish Publishers and English Literature 1750-1900


Bell, Bill. “From Parnassus to Grub Street: Matthew Arnold and the House of Macmillan” in Macmillan: A Publishing Tradition. Ed. Elizabeth James. Basingstoke, Hants. and New York: Palgrave, 2002.

A Bibliographical Catalogue of Macmillan and Co.’s Publications from 1843 to 1889. London: Macmillan and Co., 1891.

Millgate, Michael. “‘And Sacred is the Latest Word.’ Macmillan and Tennyson’s ‘final’ text” in Macmillan: A Publishing Tradition. Ed. Elizabeth James, pp. 131-52.

Morgan, Charles. The House of Macmillan (1843-1943). London: Macmillan, 1943; New York: Macmillan, 1944.

Murphy, Andrew. Shakespeare in Print: A History and Chronology of Shakespeare Publishing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

The Correspondence of H.G. Wells. Ed. David C. Smith. 2 vols. London Pickering and Chatto, 1998.

Last modified 19 October 2018