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Literary Criticism Books & Reading

The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada

Making Books and Mapping Culture

by (author) Ruth Panofsky

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2012
Books & Reading, General
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    Publish Date
    Jan 2012
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    Jan 2012
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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.

Ruth Panofsky's 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.

About the author

Ruth Panofsky is an award-winning poet who lives and writes in Toronto, where she teaches Canadian Literature and Culture at Ryerson University. She is the author of The Force of Vocation: The Literary Career of Adele Wiseman (2006) and The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada: Making Books and Mapping Culture (2012). Her award-winning critical edition of the collected poetry of Miriam Waddington appeared in two volumes in 2014 and, most recently, she edited The Spice Box: Canadian Jewish Writing (2017). Her newest work, Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing, which focuses on key twentieth-century publishers, editors, and literary agents, was published in 2019. She is also an award-winning poet. She received the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Laike and Nahum: A Poem in Two Voices (2007). Radiant Shards: Hoda's North End Poems, her third volume of verse, received a Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Research Award.

Ruth Panofsky's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘Panofsky has produced a valuable and insightful account of the way handful of visionary men worked hard to shape a Canadian Literary style and self-image.’

Canada’s History Magazine February-March 2013

‘Panofsy has traced the threads of the stories from Toronto to London and New York and back again, and as a result the reader is provided with a coherent and enlightening picture of Macmillan and Company in Canada.’

Amphora: The Journal of Alcuin Society, vol 161: Summer 2012

‘Ruth Panofsky’s history of Macmillan Canada in meticulously documented… It is pleasurably readable… The book has held the pride of place in my bedside reading, and is certainly an important contribution to the growing literature on the history of Canadian publishing.’

Canadian Literature Autumn 2014

‘As a guide for “mapping culture” this readable book is a must for anyone interested in book history in Canada. It describes a venerable life: Macmillan of Canada, born December 1905 – died June 2002.’

Papers of the Bibliographic Society of Canada vol 50:02; 2012

Other titles by Ruth Panofsky