Richard Bentley (Publisher) - Encyclopedia


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RICHARD BENTLEY (1794-1871), British publisher, was born in London in 1794. His father owned the General Evening Post in conjunction with John Nichols, to whom Richard Bentley, on leaving St Paul's school, was apprenticed to learn the printing trade. With his brother Samuel (1785-1868), an antiquarian of some repute, he set up a printing establishment, but in 1829 he began business as a publisher in partnership with Henry Colburn in New Burlington Street. Colburn retired in 1832 and Bentley continued business on his own account. In 1837 he began Bentley's Miscellany, edited for the first three years of its existence by Charles Dickens, whose Oliver Twist, with Cruikshank's illustrations, appeared in its pages. Bentley and his son George (1828-1895), as Richard Bentley & Son, published works by R. H. Barham, Theodore Hook, Isaac D'Israeli, Judge Haliburton and others; also the "Library of Standard Novels" and the "Favourite Novel Library." In the latter series Mrs Henry Wood's East Lynne appeared. In 1866 the firm took over the publication of Temple Bar, with which Bentley's Miscellany was afterwards incorporated. Richard Bentley died on the 10th of September 1871. His son, George Bentley, and his grandson, Richard Bentley, junior, continued the business until it was absorbed (1898) by Macmillan & Co.

See also R. Bentley b' Son (Edinburgh, 1886), a history of the firm reprinted from Le Livre (October, 1885).

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