Blackie and Son

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The Princess and the Goblin cover of the edition published by Blackie & Son, 1911.

Blackie & Son was a publishing house in Glasgow, Scotland, and London, England, from 1809 to 1991.


The firm was founded as a bookseller in 1809 by John Blackie (1782–1874) as a partnership with two others and was known as 'Blackie, Fullarton and Company'. It began printing in 1819, using the skill and equipment of Edward Khull.[1] It moved to Glasgow around 1830 and had premises at 8 Clyde Street facing the River Clyde.[2] Following the retirement of Fullarton the company was renamed 'Blackie and Son' in 1831, remaining in the Clyde Street property, and becoming a public limited company in 1890. Later on, the business moved its Glasgow office to 17 Stanhope Street, and also opened offices at 5 South College Street in Edinburgh and 16/18 William IV Street, Charing Cross, London.[3] The company also opened offices in Canada and India. It ceased publishing in 1991.

Blackie and Son initially published books sold by subscription, including religious texts and reference books. Later the firm published single volumes, particularly educational texts and children's books, taking advantage of compulsory education from 1870.

Blackie published G. A. Hentys historical adventure books for boys (e.g. With Kitchener in the Soudan and With Lee in Virginia) which were very popular in the British Empire in the later 19th century; Henty wrote 122 books including adult novels.

Blackie published the many Flower Fairy books of Cicely Mary Barker beginning in 1923. From the 1950s onwards it published The Kennett Library, a graded series of classics retold for schools including: Kidnapped, Little Women, Westward Ho!, The Black Arrow, Wuthering Heights and Ben-Hur.

In 1902, Walter Blackie commissioned Hill House on a plot in Helensburgh to the West of Glasgow. At the invitation of their Art Director Talwin Morris, the architect was his friend Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The house is regarded as one of Mackintosh's finest works.

Book series[edit]

  • Beautiful England[4]
  • Beautiful Ireland[4]
  • Beautiful Scotland[4]
  • Beautiful Switzerland[4]
  • Blackie's Boys' Annual
  • Blackie's Famous Books[5]
  • Blackie's Girls' Annual
  • Blackie's Library of Famous Books
  • The Casket Library[6]
  • The Imperial Library[7]
  • The Kennett Library
  • The Red Letter Library
  • The Red Letter Poets
  • Reward Books
  • Student Drama Series
  • The Victorian Era Series
  • The Wallet Library[8]

Further reading[edit]

  • Agnes A. C. Blackie, Blackie & Son, 1809-1959: A Short History of the Firm, London : Blackie & Son, 1959.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blackie and Son, Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  2. ^ Glasgow Post Office Directory 1830
  3. ^ "(53) - Scottish Post Office Directories > Towns > Edinburgh > 1805-1834 - Post Office annual directory > 1832-1833 - Scottish Directories - National Library of Scotland".
  4. ^ a b c d Beautiful England (Blackie and Son Limited) - Book Series List, publishing Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  5. ^ Blackie's Famous Books (Blackie and Son Ltd.) - Book Series List, publishing Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  6. ^ Casket Library, Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  7. ^ Imperial Library, Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  8. ^ Wallet Library, Retrieved 24 May 2018.

External links[edit]