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Little, Brown and Company


Little, Brown and Company

Little, Brown and Company
Little, Brown and Company
Parent company Hachette Book Group USA
Founded 1837 (1837)
Founder Charles Coffin Little, James Brown
Country of origin United States, United Kingdom
Headquarters location New York City
Imprints Back Bay, Poppy, Megan Tingley, Mulholland, Reagan Arthur
Official website .com.littlebrownwww

Little, Brown and Company is an American publisher founded in 1837 by Charles Coffin Little and his partner, James Brown, and for close to two centuries has published fiction and nonfiction by many of America's finest writers. Early lists featured Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson's poetry, and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, all of which are still available today. In 1993 Little, Brown created a new trade paperback imprint, Back Bay Books, to focus on long-term publication of the company's best fiction and nonfiction and to publish original trade paperbacks. Little, Brown is also the home of Bulfinch Press, a leading publisher of art and photography books.[1]

Bestselling novelists on Little, Brown's hardcover and Back Bay's paperback lists include Gloria Steinem, the Dalai Lama, David Sedaris, John Feinstein, Malcolm Gladwell, and the cartoonist R. Crumb. Bulfinch publishes the distinguished photography of Ansel Adams, Sally Mann, Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Joyce Tenneson, Howard Schatz and Abelardo Morell.[2]


  • 19th century 1
  • 20th century 2
  • 21st century 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes and references 5
    • Bibliography 5.1
  • External links 6

19th century

The firm initially specialized in legal treatises & imported titles. For many years, it was the most extensive law publisher in the United States, and also the largest importer of standard English law and miscellaneous works, introducing American buyers to the William H. Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella, Jones Very's first book of poetry (edited by Ralph Waldo Emerson), Letters of John Adams and works by James Russell Lowell and Francis Parkman.

The firm was the original publisher of United States Statutes at Large beginning in 1845, under authority granted by a joint resolution of Congress. In 1874, Congress transferred the authority to publish the Statutes at Large to the Government Printing Office, which has been responsible for producing the set since that time.[4] 1 U.S.C. § 113 still recognizes their edition of the laws and treaties of the United States are competent evidence of the several public and private Acts of Congress, treaties, and international agreements other than treaties of the United States.

In 1853, Little, Brown began publishing the works of British poets from Chaucer to Wordsworth. Ninety-six volumes were published in the series in five years.

In 1859, John Bartlett became a partner in the firm. He held the rights to his Familiar Quotations, and Little, Brown published the 15th edition of the work in 1980, 125 years after its first publication. John Murray Brown, James Brown's son, took over when Augustus Flagg retired in 1884. In the 1890s, Little, Brown expanded into general publishing, including fiction. In 1896, it published Quo Vadis. In 1898, Little, Brown purchased a list of titles from the Roberts Brothers firm. 19th century employees included Charles Carroll Soule.[5]

20th century

Traingular logo bearing the initials,
A Little, Brown and Co. insignia used in 1906.

John Murray Brown died in 1908 and James W. McIntyre became managing partner. When McIntyre died in 1913, Little, Brown incorporated. In 1925, Little, Brown entered into an agreement to publish all Atlantic Monthly books. This arrangement lasted until 1985. During this time the joint Atlantic Monthly Press/Little Brown imprint published All Quiet on the Western Front, Herge's The Adventures of Tintin, James Truslow Adams's The Adams Family, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall's Mutiny on the Bounty and its sequels, James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Walter D. Edmonds's Drums Along the Mohawk, William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways, Tracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine, and J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

Salinger later terminated his contract with the publishing house sometime in the 1970s, though his novel was still published by Little, Brown.

Other prominent figures published by Little, Brown in the 20th and early 21st centuries have included Gwyn Thomas, Gore Vidal, David Foster Wallace, Evelyn Waugh, P. G. Wodehouse, James Patterson and Herman Wouk. Little, Brown also published the photography of Ansel Adams.

In 2001, Michael Pietsch became Publisher of Little, Brown.

The imprint was purchased by Time Inc. in 1968, and was made part of the Time Warner Book Group when Time merged with Warner Communications to form Time Warner in 1989.

Little, Brown expanded into the UK in 1992 when TWBG bought MacDonald & Co from Maxwell Communications, taking on its Abacus (upmarket paperback) and Orbit (science fiction) lists, and authors including Iain Banks. Feminist publisher Virago Press followed in 1996. Also in 1996, Wolters Kluwer acquired Little, Brown's professional division and incorporated it into its Aspen and Lippincott-Raven imprints.

21st century

In 2006, the Time Warner Book Group was sold to French publisher Hachette Livre; the Little, Brown imprint is now used by Hachette Livre's U.S. publishing company, Hachette Book Group USA.

In 2011, Little, Brown launched a new imprint devoted to suspense publishing called Mulholland Books. The goal of Mulholland Books is simple: to publish books you can’t stop reading.[6]

On 13 April 2012, it was announced the company would publish Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling's first novel for adults The Casual Vacancy, released on 27 September 2012.[7]

The company received the Publisher of the Year Award three times.[8]

On Thursday, March 28, 2013, an online Associated Press (AP) article, which was featured on the MSN News pop culture website, stated that Little, Brown and Company would be the publishers of the U.S. edition of I am Malala, the forthcoming (fall 2013) memoir of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani female education activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner.[9]

On April 1, 2013, Reagan Arthur became publisher of Little, Brown.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^ "Company History". 
  3. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the  
  4. ^ "Statutes at Large".  
  5. ^ "Obituary", Publishers Weekly, January 11, 1913 
  6. ^ Mulholland Books
  7. ^ "The Casual Vacancy". Little, Brown & Company. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Book Publishing in America, Madison, CA: McGraw-Hill, 1966.
  9. ^ Shot Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai writing book. Retrieved on 2013-07-19.


  • Oliver, Bill (1986), "Little, Brown and Company", in Peter Dzwonkonski (ed.), Dictionary of Literary Biography - Volume Forty-nine - American Literary Publishing Houses, 1638 - 1899 Part 1: A-M. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company. ISBN 0-8103-1727-3

External links

  • Little, Brown Book Group (UK)
  • Little, Brown Book Group (US)
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