1st Edition

William Tinsley (1831-1902): Speculative Publisher Speculative Publisher

By Peter Newbolt Copyright 2001

    This title was first published in 2001. An account of the activities of 19th-century publisher William Tinsley, particularly in relation to his authors and his chosen way of making a living. In considering the library-publishing system that dominated all aspects of fiction in the latter part of the 19th century, when down-payments rather than loyalties were the rewards of novelists, it may be surprising to find how wide were the variations in prices that publishers paid for such work. Differences appeared when individual publishers developed soft spots for particular authors, and in consequence they sometimes made fools of themselves. William Tinsley certainly did so, on several occasions, but was blessed, at least in later life, with the grace of never seriously regretting any of his mistakes. Examples of the nature of this good-hearted man are found in these pages. This account relies to an extent on Tinsley's two volumes of memoirs.

    1 South Mimms, 2 Leaving Home: Notting Hill, 3 The Brough Brothers, 4 Business Partnership: Marriage Partnerships, 5 The Circulating Libraries and the Three-volume Novel , 6 Sala Sets the Ball Rolling, 7 Mary Elizabeth Braddon, 8 George Lawrence and Ouida, 9 Mrs Henry Wood and Mrs J.H. Riddell, 10 Two Failed Take-overs; Death of Edward, 11 Sheridan Le Fanu and Rhoda Broughton, 12 Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald, 13 Harrison Ainsworth and Wilkie Collins, 14 William Black and author-publisher relations, 15 War-Correspondent Novelists: Russell and Henty, 16 George Meredith and Thomas Hardy, 17 Thomas Hardy’s first three Novels, 18 Edmund Yates and ‘Novel Liaisons’ , 19 The Office Staff and Management, 20 Hard labour or fulfilment for women in writing, 21 Tinsleys ' Magazine, and twelve months of Mirth, 22 J.R. Planché, dramatist and Somerset Herald, 23 Benjamin Leopold Farjeon, 24 Walter Besant and Richard Jefferies, 25 Some other Tinsley Authors, 26 Life’s Rich Pageant: J.L. Toole and Henry Irving,  27 Diminuendo doloroso.


    Peter Newbolt