William Heinemann

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Portrait of William Heinemann

William Henry Heinemann (18 May 1863 – 5 October 1920) was the founder of the Heinemann publishing house in London.

Heinemann was born in 1863, in Surbiton, Surrey, the eldest son of Louis Heinemann, a director of Parr's Bank & native of Hanover, Germany, and his Lancashire born wife Jane Lavino.[1] Both his parents were Jewish by descent, although they had been Anglican for two generations.[1] In his early life he wanted to be a musician, either as a performer or a composer, but, realising that he lacked the ability to be successful in that field, he took a job with the music publishing company of Nicolas Trübner.[1] When Trübner died, Heinemann founded his own publishing house in Covent Garden in 1890. The company published many translations of the classics Great Britain, as well as such authors as H. G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Rudyard Kipling.[1]

William Heinemann died in London unexpectedly on 5 October 1920.[2] He had no children and his presumptive heir, his nephew John Heinemann, had died in the First World War. Heinemann's share of the company was bought out by Frank Nelson Doubleday, the New York publisher.[1]

He bequeathed funds to the Royal Society of Literature to establish a literary prize, the W. H. Heinemann Award, given from 1945 to 2003.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Fritschner, Linda Marie (2004). "Heinemann, William (1863–1920)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Hall Caine: Portrait of a Victorian Romancer by Vivian Allen, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997, pp.373-384

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