|Founder||William Davis Ticknor and John Allen|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Key people||James T. Fields, James R. Osgood|
|Publication types||Books, Magazines|
Ticknor and Fields was an American publishing company based in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded as a bookstore in 1832, the business would publish many 19th century American authors including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain. It also became an early publisher of The Atlantic Monthly and North American Review .
The firm was named after founder William Davis Ticknor and apprentice James T. Fields, although the names of additional business partners would come and go, notably that of James R. Osgood in the firm's later years. Financial problems led Osgood to merge the company with the publishing firm of Henry Oscar Houghton in 1878, forming a precursor to the modern publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Houghton Mifflin revived the Ticknor and Fields name as an imprint from 1979 to 1989.
In 1832 William Davis Ticknor and John Allen began a small bookselling business called Ticknor and Allen which operated out of the Old Corner Bookstore located on Washington and School streets in Boston, Massachusetts. The space had previously been used by publishers Carter & Hendee, who hired a teenaged James T. Fields as an apprentice. When Ticknor and Allen began their business, Fields joined them. A year later, Allen withdrew from the firm, and Ticknor continued business under William D. Ticknor and Company. When John Reed and Fields became partners in 1845, the imprint was changed to Ticknor, Reed, and Fields. Reed retired in 1854 and the imprint was renamed as Ticknor and Fields, which became well known.
During these years the firm purchased and printed the Atlantic Monthly and the North American Review . Also in 1842 Ticknor became the first American publisher to pay foreign writers for their works, beginning with a check to Alfred Tennyson. These were prosperous years for the firm, and they compiled an impressive list of authors, Horatio Alger, Lydia Maria Child, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Alfred Tennyson, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and John Greenleaf Whittier. The Old Corner Bookstore had become the publishing house and meeting place for these authors. Many writers visited many times a week; George William Curtis referred to it as "the hub of the Hub", referring to Boston's nickname, and said that it "compelled the world to acknowledge that there was an American literature".
The success of the firm was largely in part to the perfectly matched but widely varied talents of Ticknor and Fields. Ticknor gave his attention to the financial and manufacturing departments while Fields focused on literary relations and social aspects of the business. It was also during these years that Ticknor and Fields developed a close relationship with the Riverside Press, founded by Henry Oscar Houghton in 1852.
In the spring of 1864, Ticknor accompanied Nathaniel Hawthorne on a trip to restore the author's health, at the urging of his wife Sophia Hawthorne.During the trip, Ticknor became ill with pneumonia. Hawthorne wrote to Fields that "our friend Ticknor is suffering under a billious attack... He had previously seemed uncomfortable, but not to an alarming degree." Ticknor died on the morning of April 10, 1864.
Upon Ticknor's sudden and unexpected death, interests in the firm were carried on by his son Howard M. Ticknor. During these years the business had outgrown the Old Corner Bookstore and Fields, now in charge of the company, was no longer interested in the retail store. He sold the Old Corner Bookstore on November 12, 1864, and moved the publishing house to 124 Tremont Street.The firm also began to publish Our Young Folks edited by Howard M. Ticknor. The younger Ticknor soon retired and, in 1868, the firm was reorganized as Fields, Osgood, & Co. Benjamin Holt Ticknor, son of William Davis Ticknor, was admitted at a partner in 1870. On New Year's Day, 1871, Fields announced his retirement from the business at a small gathering of friends, intending to focus on his own writing. On January 2, 1871, the remaining partners bought out Fields's share of the company for $120,000 and it was renamed James R. Osgood & Co.
Osgood, who considered Fields a mentor, attracted substantial new talent and published new works by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Bret Harte, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Sarah Orne Jewett, Lucy Larcom, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, Celia Thaxter, and Charles Dudley Warner.
The firm invested in heliotype printing technology, various periodicals, and established a New York office. [ citation needed ] By December 1878, they were forced to merge with Hurd & Houghton and became Houghton, Osgood, and Co. Henry Oscar Houghton became a partner in the deal. The partnership lasted until 1880, when Osgood left to form a second J. R. Osgood and Company. Houghton's company, now Houghton, Mifflin, and Co, retained the rights to the Tickner and Fields backlist. The second J. R. Osgood and Co. was taken over by Benjamin Holt Ticknor in 1885 under the name Ticknor and Company, based (by the first quarter of 1890) at 211 Tremont Street. Ticknor and Company operated until 1889 when it became part of Houghton, Mifflin, and Co. In 1908 the name was changed to Houghton Mifflin Company.Within a few years, the company was in financial difficulty and Osgood and B. H. Ticknor were forced to sell off various assets, including many stereotype plates.
In 1979, Houghton Mifflin revived the Ticknor and Fields name as an imprint. Chester Kerr was the editor from its reestablishment to 1984; Corlies Smith followed him from 1984 to 1989.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. His works often focus on history, morality, and religion.
William Dean Howells was an American realist novelist, literary critic, and playwright, nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters". He was particularly known for his tenure as editor of The Atlantic Monthly, as well as for his own prolific writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novels The Rise of Silas Lapham and A Traveler from Altruria.
Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne was an American painter and illustrator as well as the wife of author Nathaniel Hawthorne. She also published her journals and various articles.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is an American publisher of textbooks, instructional technology materials, assessments, reference works, and fiction and non-fiction for both young readers and adults. The company is based in the Boston Financial District.
James Thomas Fields was an American publisher, editor, and poet. His business, Ticknor and Fields, was a notable publishing house in 19th century Boston.
William Davis Ticknor I was an American publisher in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and a founder of the publishing house Ticknor and Fields.
The Old Manse is a historic manse in Concord, Massachusetts, United States, notable for its literary associations. It is open to the public as a nonprofit museum owned and operated by the Trustees of Reservations. The house is located on Monument Street, with the Concord River just behind it. The property neighbors the North Bridge, a part of Minute Man National Historical Park.
The Wayside is a historic house in Concord, Massachusetts. The earliest part of the home may date to 1717. Later it successively became the home of the young Louisa May Alcott and her family, who named it Hillside, author Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family, and children's writer Margaret Sidney. It became the first site with literary associations acquired by the National Park Service and is now open to the public as part of Minute Man National Historical Park.
Twice-Told Tales is a short story collection in two volumes by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first volume was published in the spring of 1837 and the second in 1842. The stories had all been previously published in magazines and annuals, hence the name.
The House of the Seven Gables: A Romance is a Gothic novel written beginning in mid-1850 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne and published in April 1851 by Ticknor and Fields of Boston. The novel follows a New England family and their ancestral home. In the book, Hawthorne explores themes of guilt, retribution, and atonement, and colors the tale with suggestions of the supernatural and witchcraft. The setting for the book was inspired by the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, a gabled house in Salem, Massachusetts, belonging to Hawthorne's cousin Susanna Ingersoll, as well as ancestors of Hawthorne who had played a part in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The book was well received upon publication and later had a strong influence on the work of H. P. Lovecraft. The House of the Seven Gables has been adapted several times to film and television.
James Ripley Osgood (1836–1892) was an American publisher in Boston. He was involved with the publishing company that became Houghton Mifflin.
Henry Oscar Houghton was an American publisher, co-founder of Houghton Mifflin, and a mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"Egotism; or, The Bosom-Serpent" is a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne published in 1843 in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review in New York.
School Street is a short but significant street in the center of Boston, Massachusetts. It is so named for being the site of the first public school in the United States. The school operated at various addresses on the street from 1704 to 1844.
The Old Corner Bookstore is a historic commercial building located at 283 Washington Street at the corner of School Street in the historic core of Boston, Massachusetts. It was built in 1718 as a residence and apothecary shop, and first became a bookstore in 1828. The building is a designated site on Boston's Freedom Trail, Literary Trail, and Women's Heritage Trail.
Outre-Mer: A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea is a prose collection by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was the first major work by Longfellow and it was inspired by his travels in Europe as a young man. The term "outre-mer" is French for "overseas".
"Chiefly About War Matters", originally credited "by a Peaceable Man", is an 1862 essay by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The essay was inspired by the author's traveling during the American Civil War to experience more of the firsthand. Upon its publication, it was controversial for its somewhat pro-southern stance and antiwar sentiments. Hawthorne was also chastised for his unflattering descriptions of American president Abraham Lincoln.
"The Celestial Railroad" is short story by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the allegorical tale, Hawthorne parodies the seventeenth-century book The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, which portrays a Christian's spiritual "journey" through life. The story satirizes contemporary religious movements, especially transcendentalism.
A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers is an anthology of works by Henry David Thoreau, edited by his sister Sophia Thoreau and his friends William Ellery Channing and Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was published in 1866, after Thoreau’s death, by Ticknor and Fields, the Boston firm that had published Walden.