Allen & Unwin
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|Country of origin||Australia|
|Headquarters location||Crows Nest, New South Wales|
Allen & Unwin is an independent Australian publishing company, first established in Australia in 1976 as a subsidiary of the British firm George Allen & Unwin Ltd, which was founded by Sir Stanley Unwin in August 1914 and went on to become one of the leading publishers of the twentieth century.
George Allen & Unwin in the UK
George Allen and Sons was established in 1871 by George Allen, with the backing of John Ruskin, becoming George Allen and Unwin in 1914 as a result of Sir Stanley Unwin's purchase of a controlling interest. Unwin's son Rayner S. Unwin and nephew Philip helped run the company, which published the works of Bertrand Russell, Arthur Waley, Roald Dahl and Thor Heyerdal. It became well known as J. R. R. Tolkien's publisher, some time after publishing the popular children's fantasy novel The Hobbit in 1937, and its high fantasy sequel The Lord of the Rings novel in 1954-1955.
Rayner Unwin retired at the end of 1985, and the firm was amalgamated in 1986 with Bell & Hyman to form "Unwin Hyman Limited". Robin Hyman became chief executive of the combined Unwin Hyman. From this time Allen & Unwin was an Australia-based, child company of Unwin Hyman. Rayner Unwin returned for a while as part-time chairman of Unwin Hyman, retiring again at the end of 1988. It was over the objections of largest shareholder Unwin that Hyman sold the firm to HarperCollins. HarperCollins has since sold Unwin Hyman's academic book list to Routledge.
Allen & Unwin in Australia
Allen & Unwin Australia Pty Ltd became independent in July 1990 by means of a management buy-out when the UK firm was bought by HarperCollins. Now known simply as "Allen & Unwin" the company went on to become the most successful "independent" in Australia and currently publishes up to 250 new titles a year.
Allen & Unwin publishes across a broad range of areas including literary and commercial fiction, popular and serious non-fiction - including biography, memoir, history, true crime, politics, current affairs and travel - academic and professional, children's books and books for teenagers. Amongst the many authors published by Allen & Unwin are Alex Miller, Christos Tsiolkas, Garth Nix, Jodi Picoult, Kate Morton, Michael Connelly, Thomas Keneally, Peter Corris, Paul Keating, Stephanie Dowrick and Christopher Hitchens. Allen & Unwin is also co-sponsor and publisher of the annual Australian/Vogel Literary Award.
The Allen & Unwin head office is in Sydney and the company also publishes out of offices in Melbourne, Auckland and London. Allen & Unwin also represents a number of leading independent British publishers in the Australian and New Zealand markets. These include Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber, Profile Books and Serpent's Tail, Atlantic and Corvus, Granta and Portobello, Canongate, Nicholas Brealey, Icon and Nosy Crow. Allen & Unwin distributes the Harry Potter series of books in Australia and New Zealand under the Bloomsbury imprint.
Since the inaugural award in 1992, Allen & Unwin has been voted Publisher of the Year twelve times including in 2013. The Founder and Chairman of Allen & Unwin is Patrick Gallagher, the CEO is Robert Gorman and the Publishing Director is Tom Gilliatt.
In 2012, legal actions were initiated against Allen & Unwin regarding a book authored by Fairfax Media journalist Eamonn Duff. In the first case the judge awarded $50,000 damages for breach of copyright in the unauthorised use of family photographs. Defamation cases followed, and in August 2014 two family members were awarded $325,000 in damages.
References and sources
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "Allen, George". Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement 12. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Smith, Anthony (2000-11-27). "Rayner Unwin". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
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