George Byrom Whittaker

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George Byrom Whittaker (1793–1847) was an English bookseller and publisher.


Born at Southampton in March 1793, he was the son of the Rev. George Whittaker, master of the grammar school. About 1814 he became a partner of Charles Law, wholesale bookseller, Ave Maria Lane, London, a house established by W. Bidwell Law (d. 1798). Whittaker brought capital and dynamism into the business. One enterprise was the publication of a translation of Georges Cuvier's ‘Animal Kingdom,’ in sixteen volumes, with many coloured plates.

In 1824 he served as sheriff of London and Middlesex. He published for Frances Trollope, Colley Grattan, George Croly, and Mary Russell Mitford. The last novel of Sir Walter Scott came out with his imprint, and his firm published in London all Scott's early collected editions. In conjunction with the Oxford and Cambridge booksellers he produced a series of Greek and Latin classics. John Payne Collier's edition of Shakespeare (1841) was issued by him. He published the Pinnock educational primers and many other children's books, and he was a promoter of literacy with his ‘Popular Library.’

He died at Kensington on 13 December 1847. Richard Gilbert, founder of the printing firm of Gilbert & Rivington, married Whittaker's only sister; their son Robert succeeded to his uncle's property and business.



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Whittaker, George Byrom". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.