Constable & Robinson Publishing

 
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About us

 

SINCE 1795

 

Dracula, Walter Scott, a Pulitzer Prize and more - discover the history, notable books and authors of Constable & Robinson, leading independent book publisher since 1795, and 2013 IPG Trade Publisher of the Year.

The name Constable first appeared as the publisher’s name on a book in 1795 when Archibald Constable, an Edinburgh bookseller, opened an antiquarian bookshop in Edinburgh and began to publish a few original works under his own name. More than two hundred years later, Constable & Robinson still publishes under the name of Constable and is the oldest independent publishing house in the English-speaking world still trading under the name of its founder. The company and the name of Constable has a rich and varied heritage.


HERITAGE
Archibald Constable, founder of Constable




Dracula, first edition published by Constable & Co. in 1897




George Bernard Shaw and Constable enjoyed a publishing partnership for 47 years




Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw




The Graduate by Charles Webb, published by Constable in 1962


constable and robinson catalogue

  1795
Archibald Constable sets up his antiquarian bookshop in Edinburgh selling ‘Scarce Old Books’ and begins to publish under his own name. George III is on the throne, the Prime Minister is William Pitt the Younger and construction of the Bank of England begins while a new tax on hair-powder quickly ends the fashion for powdering hair.

1805
Constable publishes Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel  

1807
Constable pays Scott an enormous advance of 1000 guineas for his long poem Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field. By 1836 more than 50,000 copies have been sold. 

1812
Constable buys the copyright of the Encyclopaedia Britannica for about £13,000



1827
Archibald Constable dies at his home in Edinburgh.
 
1847
Archibald Constable’s son, Thomas, enjoys success with his printing company, and launches into publishing under his own name.  When Thomas dies 34 years later, his son Archibald (the second) takes over the printing business.



1890
Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd opens its offices in Newgate Street in London.

1896
Constable becomes one of the 58 founder members of the Publishers’ Association.



1897

Constable & Co. publishes Bram Stoker’s The Un-Dead, later to be retitled Dracula.



1902

Constable & Co. publishes Henry James’s The Wings of the Dove.



1903

George Bernard Shaw and Constable begin a publishing relationship which continues for the next 47 years.



1912

Michael Sadleir joins Constable. An influential publisher who acquired many important writers for the firm, he remained with Constable until his retirement in 1957.  He also wrote many successful novels, including Fanny by Gaslight which was filmed in 1944.  

1914

Fiercely opposed to the war, Bernard Shaw offers his article Common Sense About the War to Constable, writing "Would there be any sale for a sixpenny reprint entitled A Sensible View of the War or A Little Truth and Commonsense about the War or something like that? You wouldn’t mind having your windows broken, would you?"  Published as a supplement to the New Statesman it causes huge controversy – newspapers tell their readers to boycott his plays, while libraries and bookshops remove his works from their shelves.

1924

First world publication of Herman Melville’s novella Billy Budd by Constable

1926

Constable publishes Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.

1927

Michael Sadleir acquires John Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer.



1934

Constable publishes Jean Rhys’ Voyage in the Dark and Good Morning, Midnight (1939).



1940

Many of Constable’s books are destroyed in the Blitz bombing of Paternoster Row, then the heart of London's wholesale book trade.


1941

Publication of Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton.

1956

Publication of The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz.

1958

Constable becomes the exclusive UK agent for Dover Publications Inc.

1962

Constable begins to publish B.S. Johnson’s avant-garde novels, which included many unusual literary and production techniques.

1962

Constable buys UK rights in Charles Webb’s The Graduate, shortly afterwards becoming the Oscar-winning film starring Dustin Hoffman.

1968

The Hutchinson Group buys a minority shareholding in Constable. Hutchinson is later bought by London Weekend Television (LWT).

1983

Robinson Publishing founded by Nick Robinson. 



1989

Constable’s crime list expands when it buys R.D. Wingfield’s Frost at Christmas, the first of a series of crime thrillers that became the basis of the popular TV series A Touch of Frost.



1999

Constable & Co. merges with Robinson Publishing and the two lists are consolidated as Constable & Robinson Ltd.



2007

Elliot Right Way Books, a successful publisher of ‘how-to’ titles, is purchased by Constable & Robinson Ltd.

2010
Constable launches a new fiction imprint, Corsair, which sees one of its first titles - Jennifer Egan's groundbreaking A Visit from the Goon Squad - win the Pulitzer Fiction Prize.

2012
Constable & Robinson is awarded 2012 Independent Publisher of the Year at both the Bookseller awards and the IPG awards, as well as Trade Publisher of the Year and the Ingram Digital Publishing Award. Success is repeated the following year, winning the 2013 IPG Trade Publisher of the Year and 2013 Ingram Digital Publishing Award.

2013
Constable & Robinson's Right Way imprint is joined by the respected How To Books list, offering inspirational guidance and advice on a multitude of subjects.

2014
Constable & Robinson is purchased by Little, Brown Book Group, a division of Hachette UK.

 

PRESENT

Constable & Robinson continues into the 21st century as part of Little, Brown Book Group.

 

We publish a varied list of fiction and non-fiction titles as hardbacks, paperbacks and ebooks. Our non-fiction list includes current affairs, history and biography, psychology, self-help and illustrated titles while our fiction includes literary novels and a growing selection of genre fiction from Corsair and Canvas, with a sprinklng of young adult fiction from Much-in-Little.

 

Among our commercially successful series are the well-known Mammoth paperback anthologies, the bestselling and widely respected Overcoming list of CBT self-help titles, the Brief History and Brief Guide series, and inspirational guidebooks from Right Way and How To Books.

 


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