George Robertson (publisher)

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Not to be confused with George Robertson (bookseller).
George Robertson in London, 1900

George Robertson (14 April 1860 – 27 August 1933) was a Scottish-Australian bookseller and publisher, who founded the publishing division of Angus & Robertson.

Robertson, the son of the Rev. John Robertson, was born at Halstead, Essex, England. He was educated at the Southwestern Academy, Glasgow and trained as a bookseller with James Maclehose, bookseller to the University of Glasgow.[citation needed] He emigrated to New Zealand as a young man, and, two years later (in 1882), he relocated to Sydney, where he found employment at the local branch of George Robertson and Company, booksellers of Melbourne. He was in no way related to the founder of that firm.

In January 1886 he joined D. M. Angus in partnership, at first in Market Street, Sydney and later, in Castlereagh Street. After Angus' death in 1900 Robertson continued in partnership with Frederick Wymark and Richard Thomson who had acquired Angus' share of the business, until in 1907 the partnership was converted into a public company and continues under the name of Angus & Robertson Ltd.

Around 1895 the publishing side of the business began to be developed and many successful volumes were launched. Among the earlier authors were Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson and Victor Daley. Robertson could recognize quickly a promising author and was willing to take considerable risks in backing his judgment.

During the last 30 years of his life the number of volumes he published exceeded the total number brought out in the same period by all the other publishers in Australia. The Australian Encyclopaedia, published in two volumes in 1926, is one of the most important books published in Australia.[citation needed]

He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Stewart Bruce in 1881, and, in 1910, to Eva Adeline Ducat. He died at the age of 73 and was survived by his second wife and his children (three daughters and a son) from his first marriage.

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