Macmillan Learning Honors Company Founders in 175th Anniversary Celebration

Macmillan companies around the world celebrate the company’s rich heritage

July 24th, 2018

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"If a large tree grows from this small seed we shall be grateful."
Daniel Macmillan, London, 1843

New York, July 24, 2018 - Macmillan Publishers are celebrating their 175th anniversary across their global divisions throughout 2018. Reflecting on a rich heritage and the foundations established by two entrepreneurial and inspiring brothers, Daniel and Alexander, Macmillan Learning will use the occasion to celebrate their mission in education and the distinct family feel and personality of their business. Activities and publications planned throughout the year will serve as a reminder of the passion and commitment that has brought Macmillan publishing companies to where they are today, while showcasing a long-standing commitment to learning, storytelling, sharing ideas, and engaging curious minds.

"From a small seed…"

Macmillan was founded by two brothers Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, the sons of Scottish crofters, in London in 1843. Their story is inspiring - with no formal education and continuously embattled by illness in the case of Daniel Macmillan, they established a company while aged just 30 and 25. Opening a bookshop in February 1843 and publishing their first two titles by November of the same year, the company grew to become one of the largest publishing houses in the world by the turn of the 20th century, with offices in Australia, Canada, India and the United States of America.

A Focus on Education

The imprints and enterprises that make up Macmillan Learning's educational publishing group each have distinctive origin stories-stories of individuals with unique ideas for producing educational material using the latest technology, created in full awareness of what works in the classroom. What they have in common is that those ideas were realized and implemented through deep partnerships with the very people shaping contemporary education itself-leading researchers, educators, administrators, and developers-making sure those innovations would indeed improve lives through learning.

From General Chemistry by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman's Economics to bestselling Psychology by David G. Myers, and the most widely used English handbook of all time, A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker, as well as innovative digital learning solutions such as Sapling and iClicker, Macmillan Learning has a legacy of lighting the way for the future of education.

"At Macmillan Learning, we are tremendously proud of our achievements throughout the years, namely the deep relationships forged with researchers, educators, administrators, and students," declared Macmillan Learning CEO, Ken Michaels. "The history of Macmillan has been defined by high quality and innovative products, and it's an honor and privilege to add to the next chapter of the Macmillan story."

2018 also marks the bicentenary of Alexander Macmillan's birth on 3 October 1818. Taking over the business after Daniel's death in 1857, Macmillan's early success can be attributed to Alexander's wide-ranging curiosity, his generosity towards authors and colleagues, his business acumen and a lifelong passion for reading, learning and books. Passed down through Daniel and Alexander's children and colleagues, Macmillan Learning continues to embody these characteristics today.

By 1999, the various companies founded by the Macmillan Family - including the independent US publishing house - were brought back together under the shared ownership of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, another independent, family-owned publisher based in Stuttgart, Germany.

Celebrating The Macmillan Story in New Publications

It's been 175 years since the publication of the first Macmillan book, The Philosophy of Training by A.R Craig. In October 2018, Pan Macmillan will publish a new edition of one of the most successful anthologies in English literary history, The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs & Lyrical Poems in the English Language, edited by Francis Turner Palgrave.

The original edition, published in 1861, sold close to 100,000 copies and helped popularize Wordsworth and the other Romantic poets around the world. The new edition will be part of the Macmillan Collector's Library. Featuring a foreword by the UK Poet Laureate and Picador author, Carol Ann Duffy, it will be bound in real cloth and feature a ribbon marker and gilt edges.

To further commemorate this milestone anniversary, Macmillan will also publish a comprehensive international history of the company called The Macmillan Story in September 2018, for distribution to employees, customers, and authors.

Continuing the Tradition of Uniting Thought Leaders

Alexander Macmillan was renowned for his support for authors and for bringing thought leaders together from the fields of science, philosophy, literature, politics and the arts. His salons in the London offices of Macmillan, dubbed 'Tobacco Parliaments', formed the hub of conversation about books, writing and reading which led to the development of friendships and new ideas, including the foundation of Nature and the publishing of Millicent Fawcett, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in Macmillan's Magazine.

Throughout the year Macmillan 175 branded activities will continue this tradition by bringing authors, educators, researchers, learners, and readers together to discuss new ideas. Macmillan companies will also carry Macmillan 175 branding at key conferences and trade fairs, including Educause, SXSWedu, EconED, The Conference on College Composition and Communication, as well as staff celebrations around the world.

Macmillan's Impact

In addition to the remarkable education content the companies have produced, Macmillan companies have published some of the best-loved fiction and children's books of all time, including Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, the poetry of Yeats and Rossetti, Casino Royale, Bridget Jones' Diary, The Gruffalo, and more. This extraordinary list of books continues to be expanded by Pan Macmillan and Macmillan Children's Books today.

Macmillan companies have also produced a wealth of globally influential educational, non-fiction, academic and reference texts, including the science journal Nature, Nesfield's Manual of English Grammar, The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, The Statesman's Yearbook and Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.

Palgrave Macmillan continues to publish award-winning research across the humanities, social sciences and business, while Macmillan Education supports students, teachers and institutions worldwide through a lifetime of learning.

Today Macmillan books, products, and services are enjoyed by children and adults in over 120 countries, and, according to its employees around the globe, continues to feel a very special place to work.

​Macmillan CEO John Sargent said, "Macmillan has always been a family owned company. That has allowed us, over the generations, to take a long view. And though we clearly operate as a ​business, we always try to keep a family feeling in the workplace. Our goal is to be a company that is human, where creativity and joy in our work can prosper."

For more information visit: or watch a commemorative video about #Macmillan175.

Macmillan Learning
Macmillan Learning improves lives through learning. Our legacy of excellence in education informs our approach to using user-centered design, learning science, and impact research to develop world-class content and pioneering products that are empathetic, highly effective, and drive improved outcomes. Through deep partnership with the world's best researchers, educators, administrators, and developers, we facilitate teaching and learning opportunities that spark student engagement and lift course results. We provide educators with tailored solutions designed to inspire curiosity and measure progress. Our commitment to teaching and discovery upholds our mission to improve lives through learning. To learn more, please visit or see us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or join our Macmillan Community.

Pan Macmillan
Pan Macmillan is the consumer publishing arm of Macmillan, a global publishing company. Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, Boxtree, Sidgwick & Jackson, Bello, Tor, Macmillan Children's Books, Campbell Books and Macmillan Digital Audio. Pan Macmillan was named Publisher of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards in 2015 and again in 2017.

Springer Nature
Springer Nature is a leading research, educational and professional publisher, providing quality content to our communities through a range of innovative platforms, products and services. Every day, around the globe, our imprints, books, journals and resources reach millions of people - helping researchers, students, teachers and professionals to discover, learn and achieve more. Springer Nature is home to Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Macmillan International Higher Education. Visit: and follow @SpringerNature.

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