Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 34.djvu/129

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of a much enlarged and lucrative edition of Chamber's 'Cyclopaedia,' and died in 1797.

Longman, Thomas Norton (1771-1843), born in 1771, son of the preceding, became virtual head of the business by his father's gradual withdrawal from it, which began about 1792, and he succeeded to it on his father's death. Before this he had in 1794 taken into partnership Owen Rees [q. v.] Before the close of the century the firm of Longman & Rees had become, both as publishers and booksellers, one of the greatest in LondonĀ ; among the earliest of the valuable Copyrights which they acquired being that of Limley Murray's ' English Grammar.' With large capital at their command, they bought up businesses and copyrights in town and country. By purchasing about 1800 the business of Joseph Cottle [q. v.] of Bristol they became the owners of the ' Lyrical Ballads' of Wordsworth and Coleridge. Longman presented Cottle with the copyright of the ' Ballads,' and Cottle in his turn made a present of it to Wordsworth. Although Longman did not then consider the copyright of the 'Ballads' to be valuable, Cottle speaks of the gift as 'marked by Longman's 'accustomed liberality.' Afterwards the firm (Cottle, Early Recollections, 1837, ii. 26-7) long published for Wordsworth and Southey, who when in town were frequent guests at their literary dinner parties and weekly receptions. Writing to Coleridge in 1814 Southey says of T. N. Longman. ' that man has a kind heart of his own.' Sir Walter Scott has commemorated the liberality of the firm in presenting him with 100l. in recognition of the 'uncommon success' of 'The Lay of the Last Minstrel,' the copyright of which they had bought from him for 500l. The firm agreed to give Thomas Moore [q. v.] three thousand guineas for ' Lalla Rookh before the poem was written. They might have become Byron's publishers had they not refused his ' English Bards and Scotch Reviewers ' on account of the attacks in it on ' Mr. Southey and olhers of their literary friends.' Byron so resented the refusal that when making R. C. Dallas [q. y,] a present of ' Childe Harold.' he stipulated that it should not be offered to the Longmans. Among the more important enterprises of the firm was the conversion of Ephraim Chambers's into the much larger and more comprehensive Rees's 'Cyclopaedia' [see Rees, Abraham], in forty-five vols., and their publication of Bandinel's edition of Dugdale's 'Monasticon,' of Watt's 'Bibliotheca Britannica,' and of Lardner's ' Cabinet Cyclopaedia.' In 1826, after the collapse of Archibald Constable [q. v.], they became the sole proprietors of the 'Edinburgh Review,' of which they had previously owned one half. By this time, through successive introductions of new partners, generally employes of the house, the designation of the firm had become Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, & Green. Thomas Norton Longman died at Hampstead, 29 Aug. 1842, much respected as a publisher and a man. Some of his friends erected a monument to him, with a bust in Hampstead Church. His personalty was sworn at 200.000l.

Longman, William (1813-1877), third son of the preceding, was born 9 Feb. 1813. He received his early education at a school at Totteridge, near Bamet, and in his sixteenth year entered the service of the firm of which his father was the head, passing through all the grades of the business. At the same time he continued his own education, acquiring a fair knowledge of foreign languages and of general literature, and cultivating a strong taste for natural science, especially for entomology. In 1839 he became a partner, and attached himself to the literary and publishing departments of the business. He compiled the useful volume which appeared anonymously as 'A Catalogue of Works in all Departments of Eng- lish Literature, classified, with a General Alphabetical Index,' of which a second edition was issued in 1848. With a vigorous frame, he was fond of field-sports and out-of-door exercise. He explored the Alps for several years successively, and was one of the earliest members of the Alpine Club, established in 1857. After being its vice-president, he was its president from 1871 to 1874, and actively promoted the publication of the records of their Alpine excursions, written by its members, and issued as 'Peaks, Passes, and Glaciers' in 1659-62. In 1856 was printed for private circulation his 'Journal of Six Weeks Adventures in Switzerland, Piedmont, and on the Italian Lakes.' In April 1861 he read before the Alpine Club and afterwards printed, a paper of 'Suggestions for the Exploration of Iceland.' His love of the country led him to live as much as possible out of town. After residing for some years at Chorleywood, near Rickmansworth, he removed to Ashlyns, Great Berkhampstead, where be took a leading part in resisting an attempt made by a neighbouring landowner to enclose Berkhampstead Common. A Mutual Improvement Society having been formed at Chorleywood in 1856, he delivered to it in the spring of 1867 a lecture on Switierland, which he repeated before a London audience, and then printed for private circulation. In January 1869 he