Macmillan & Co. in New York : transatlantic publishing in the late nineteenth Century
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This thesis follows the British publisher Macmillan & Co. as it set up its first international branch office in New York, from 1869 to the 1891. It outlines how Macmillan’s New York Agency functioned in a distant market, at a time when international copyright law did not exist. I investigate how the Agency navigated political, social, and economic challenges as it sought to become the first successful branch offices of a British publisher on American soil. First, I establish how Macmillan & Co. traded on a transatlantic level during the 1850s and 1860s, and ask why Alexander Macmillan, made the decision to open the branch office in 1867. Second, I reconstruct the opening of the Agency in 1869, its first few years in business, and the hardships, challenges, and successes it endured in order to become economically profitable to the mother-company. Lastly, I evaluate how the relationship between the Agency and the London office shifted once a new generation of business management came of age in the early 1890s, and as international copyright laws came into effect between American and Great Britain. This is the first ever in-depth look at how a British publisher agency operated on American soil. It offers new insights into how the transatlantic trade operated, as well as shows how international businesses operated within new markets lacking international laws.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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