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Longmans is the oldest commercial publisher in the UK founded in London in 1724 by Thomas Longman. Asa Briggs' history is told within the context not only of the book trade, but also of national and international social, economic, intellectual and cultural history. It tells of the people who ran the firm, the principles they held to and their success as entrepreneurs. From the start the Longmans chose titles likely to have a long life. These included Roget's 'Thesaurus' and Gray's 'Anatomy' which have gone through many editions. Early nineteenth-century Longman authors included William Wordsworth, Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott, and by the middle of the century they had become a publishing 'Leviathan'.Late Victorian authors included Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and H.Rider Haggard. Throughout its history the House of Longman has published a variety of important works, covering religion, law, medicine, science and sport and has been a major publisher of dictionaries and reference books. It has also been renowned for its educational publishing. In the 20th century it became increasingly international, with subsidiary companies all over the world. Questions of how, why, and with what effectiveness, are dealt with in the last chapters of this comprehensive and intiguing study.