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The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada

The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada: Making Books and Mapping Culture

  • Book Info
    The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada
    Book Description:

    The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canadaalso illuminates the key individuals – including Hugh Eayrs, John Gray, and Hugh Kane – whose personalities were as fascinating as those of the authors they published, and whose achievements helped to advance modern literature in Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9965-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-20)

    In the early 1840s, Daniel Macmillan, Scottish founder of the Macmillan publishing empire, invoked the divine power of booksellers. ‘We booksellers,’ Macmillan declared, ‘are aiding our great Taskmaster to reduce the world into order, and beauty, and harmony … As truly as God is, we are His ministers, and help to minister to the wellbeing of the spirits of men. At the same time it is our duty to manage our affairs wisely, keep our minds easy, and not trade beyond our means.’¹ Although Macmillan had yet to publish his first title – A.R. Craig’sThe Philosophy of Training, which...

  6. 1 The Rise of Macmillan 1905–1921: Frank Wise
    (pp. 21-64)

    Frank Wise’s term as first president of the Macmillan Company of Canada spanned fifteen years, from 26 December 1905 to 2 February 1921. From the outset, Wise understood that his responsibility as publisher was as much custodial as it was to satisfy the agency needs of the parent company in London and its affiliate house in New York. Wise sought to serve the interests of Canadian readers and indigenous culture. He used the advantage of Macmillan’s cultural inheritance to build a strong educational division for the Canadian branch and encourage a fledgling literary culture for Canada through a publishing program...

  7. 2 The Triumphant Second Reign 1921–1940: Hugh Smithurst Eayrs
    (pp. 65-125)

    Hugh Eayrs was president of the Macmillan Company of Canada from 3 February 1921 to 29 April 1940. His nineteen-year presidency was distinguished by an ability to forge a distinctive house identity for Macmillan, support an emerging culture of indigenous authorship, and foster a contemporary literature for Canada. Under Eayrs’s dynamic leadership, Macmillan matured into a successful publishing house with a culture and interest separate from its parent and affiliate houses in London and New York. By expanding Macmillan’s list of educational series and trade titles, Eayrs, so encouraging of Canadian writers, advanced the company’s ‘enviable reputation for publishing Canadian...

  8. 3 Interregnum 1940–1946: Ellen Elliott
    (pp. 126-148)

    In the wake of Hugh Eayrs’s death, Robert Huckvale rallied the ‘capable and well organized staff of Macmillan’¹ and, together with Ellen Elliott, succeeded in staving off a potential crisis. Soon after Eayrs’s funeral, Huckvale wrote to reassure Daniel Macmillan in London ‘that we can carry on here satisfactorily.’² Although he did ‘not pretend to have the many qualifications of Mr Eayrs,’ Huckvale claimed to have a ‘thorough knowledge of the business’ and numerous connections ‘in Canadian publishing circles.’³ He felt prepared to fill the void left by Eayrs.

    Robert Huckvale was born in England and educated at Maidenhead College....

  9. 4 The Resplendent Reign 1946–1969: John Morgan Gray
    (pp. 149-208)

    Under John Gray’s long and careful stewardship – notwithstanding his less than honourable treatment of Ellen Elliott – the Macmillan Company of Canada flourished and became one of the foremost Canadian publishing companies of the twentieth century. Between 1946 and 1969 – in June 1946 Gray was appointed general manager and director of Macmillan and in 1955 he was made president – Gray ‘was willing to support … both morally and financially, authors who were eventually to play key roles in modern Canadian literature,’¹ among them prominent novelists Ethel Wilson, Hugh MacLennan, Robertson Davies, W.O. Mitchell, Robert Kroetsch, and Adele...

  10. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  11. 5 The Final Reign 1969–1976: Hugh Pyper Kane
    (pp. 209-233)

    From 1 August 1969 to 27 September 1976 Hugh Kane was associated with the Macmillan Company of Canada, first as president and later as vice-chairman of the board and director of its trade division. An accomplished bookman with thirty-three years’ experience in publishing at McClelland and Stewart, Kane was chair of the Book Publishers Association of Canada from 1962 to 1963, president of the library wholesaler Co-Operative Book Centre of Canada from 1963 to 1966, and president of the Canadian Book Publishers’ Council from 1966 to 1967. For a period in the 1970s, he was honorary president of the Toronto...

  12. 6 Editorial Coda 1974–1986: Douglas Maitland Gibson
    (pp. 234-264)

    George Gilmour’s reassuring pronouncement of 1973 that Maclean Hunter would respect Macmillan’s publishing program did not hold true. Maclean Hunter’s focus on business and trade magazines and its primary concern with profitability soon penetrated both the culture and the imprint of Macmillan. In fact, between 1973 and 1980, while it was owned by Maclean Hunter, the Macmillan imprint appeared on fewer literary titles in favour of commercial books. Fortunately, however, trade publishing was overseen by editor Douglas Gibson who was associated with the Macmillan Company of Canada for twelve years, from March 1974 to March 1986, and succeeded Hugh Kane...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 265-300)
  14. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 301-316)
  15. Illustration Credits
    (pp. 317-318)
  16. Index
    (pp. 319-340)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 341-342)