The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada:
Making Books and Mapping Culture
By: Ruth Panofsky
Fifth Business and Alligator Pie. Stephen Leacock, Grey Owl, and Morley Callaghan. These treasured Canadian books and authors were all nurtured by the Macmillan Company of Canada, one of the country’s foremost twentieth-century publishing houses. The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada is a unique look at the contribution of publishers and editors to the formation of the Canadian literary canon.
This study begins in 1905 with the establishment of Macmillan Canada as a branch plant to the company’s London office. While concentrating on the firm’s original trade publishing, which had considerable cultural influence, Panofsky underscores the fundamental importance of educational titles to Macmillan’s financial profile. The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada also illuminates the key individuals – including Hugh Eayrs, John Gray, and Hugh Kane – whose personalities were as fascinating as those of the authors they published, and whose achievements helped to advance modern literature in Canada.
Eloquently written … meticulously researched and impressively authoritative … Panofsky’s study of the Macmillan legacy is made all the more enjoyable by her engagement with the lives of those men and women who strove to establish, consolidate and sustain the status of the publishing house … more than a detailed cultural and literary history: it is an elegiac, but never too worshipful, tribute to a once powerful institution in Canada.
Isla Duncan, British Journal of Canadian Studies