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A History of Longmans and Their Books 1724-1990 : Longevity in Publishing - Asa Briggs

A History of Longmans and Their Books 1724-1990

Longevity in Publishing

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Longmans is the oldest commercial publisher in the UK founded in London in 1724 by Thomas Longman. Asa Briggs' history is told within the context not only of the book trade, but also of national and international social, economic, intellectual and cultural history.

It tells of the people who ran the firm, the principles they held to and their success as entrepreneurs. From the start the Longmans chose titles likely to have a long life. These included Roget's "Thesaurus" and Gray's "Anatomy", which have gone through many editions.

Early nineteenth-century Longman authors included William Wordsworth, Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott, and by the middle of the century they had become a publishing 'Leviathan'.Late Victorian authors included Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and H.Rider Haggard.

Throughout its history the House of Longman has published a variety of important works, covering religion, law, medicine, science and sport and has been a major publisher of dictionaries and reference books. It has also been renowned for its educational publishing. In the 20th century it became increasingly international, with subsidiary companies all over the world. Questions of how, why, and with what effectiveness, are dealt with in the last chapters of this comprehensive and intiguing study.

About the Author

Asa Briggs is a leading historian both of the Victorian age and of communications. His work includes The Age of Improvement (Longman 1959, 2nd ed. 2000), Victorian People (Odhams 1954), Victorian Cities (Odhams 1963), Victorian Things (Batsford 1988), A Social History of Enlgand (Weidenfeld 1983, 2nd ed. 1994), and with Peter Burke, A Social History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom in four volumes (OUP 1961, 1965, 1970, 1979, with a composite new edition in 1995). In 1974 he edited Essays in the History of Publishing to mark Longman's 250th Anniversary. Amongst posts he has held have been those of Professor of History at Leeds, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, and Chancellor of the Open University.

'a landmark publication and a personal triumph for its renowned author. Sumptuously illustrated, the history embraces empire, trade, literature and something akin to a corporate biography' History Today 'This book is likely to become the definitive history of Longmans for a generation.' William Gibson, Archives

Abbreviations viii
Acknowedgements ix
1. Prologue: Longevity p. 1
2. The Creation of a Business p. 29
3. The Dynamics of Growth p. 89
4. Publisher, Authors and Readers p.149
5. Leviathan p.229
6. Publisher, Readers and Authors p.293
7. Continuity and Change p.377
8. Recalling Yet Re-structuring p.441
9. Profile of an Enterprise p.485
10 Epilogue: Posterity p.535
1. A Note on Sources p.543
2. Longman Imprints p.547
3. The Longman Family p.548
4. Time Span 1724-1990 p.551
5. Life Span: An Autobiographical Note p.561
Index p.567
Table of Contents provided by The British Library. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780712348737
ISBN-10: 0712348735
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 587
Published: 1st October 2008
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.6 x 18.9