Saturday, April 15, 2017

HarperCollins celebrating 200

A focus of the March 6, 2017 issue of Publishers Weekly (PW) is about the 200th celebration of HarperCollins Publishers.
J & J Harper, Printers (later Harper Brothers) was started in New York City by James and John Harper in 1817. Two years later, in Glasgow, Scotland, Chalmers & Collins Bookshop & Printing Works opened and published a book by Thomas Chalmers.

Both Harper and William Collins survived and evolved. They merged in 1990 to form Harper Collins (HC), which is now the thirteenth largest book publisher in the world, according to PW.

The magazine includes several pages of publishing history, achievements, key transactions and other interesting facts. From the beginning, HC has published classic works by such authors as Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nora Neal Hurston, Henry James and many others.

Among their publishing milestones are:

·         1839, license to publish the King James Version of the Bible

·         1924, Agatha Christie joins and later publishes her first Hercule Poirot novel

·         1958, publishes the first English translation of Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

·         1973, secures the rights to Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago
Harper & Brothers:

·         1848, publishes the first American edition of Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte’s books

·         1927, signs Aldous Huxley, later acquires the rights to other books including Brave New World

·         1956, publishes Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957

·         1970, publishes the first English translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The sidebar about Harper & Brothers’ relationship with Mark Twain and Herman Melville was especially interesting.
The PW article emphasizes that Harper Collins Publishing is not just about the past. The publisher’s current roster of authors includes Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan.

They also published a piece of the world by Christina Baker Kline, which was the subject of my previous blog. It is historical fiction about Christina Olson, the woman who inspired Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting Christina’s World.
Congratulations to HarperCollins Publishers on this anniversary and best wishes for the future. We look forward to more great books from this publishing house.

For more information, check out or You can join the conversation at #hc200.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining me and feel free to share your thoughts.