Smith, Elder, and Co.Variant names
The publishing firm of Smith, Elder, and Co. was founded in 1816 by George Smith (1789-1846) in partnership with Alexander Elder. In 1843, Smith's son, George Smith (1824-1901), took over much of the firm's operations, and, upon the death of his father in 1846, became sole head of the company. Smith lived in London with his mother, Elizabeth Murray Smith (1797-1878), until 1854, when he married Elizabeth Blakeway. They had two sons and three daughters.
Smith, Elder, and Co. prospered under George Smith's leadership. Early in his tenure, the firm published works by John Ruskin, Charlotte Bronte ( Jane Eyre in 1848), and William Makepeace Thackeray ( Esmond in 1851). In 1859, Smith started The Cornhill Magazine with Thackeray as editor; in 1865, The Pall Mall Gazette, an evening newspaper with literary leanings, began publication. Both the magazine and the newspaper attracted contributions from leading writers and artists.
In his later years, Smith's chief authors were Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, and Leslie Stephen, all of whom were close personal friends. Smith was also the founder, in 1882, of the Dictionary of National Biography .
In 1894, Reginald J. Smith, husband of George Smith's youngest daughter, joined Smith, Elder, and Co., and, in 1899, became sole head.
From the guide to the Smith, Elder, and Co. Records, 1850-1923, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Rare Book Literary and Historical Papers.)
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