From distinguished beginnings …
A forward-thinking publisher for 170 years, Macmillan has always been passionate, supportive and innovative.
When brothers, Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, founded their publishing company in 1843, they created a place that would recognise and value great contemporary writing. They made a mark on the literary world, publishing an extraordinary range of works by extraordinary authors such as Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling to name a few.
As the company grew, so did the two brothers’ belief in the importance of learning. They launched the scientific research journal Nature which is Macmillan’s biggest-selling and most famous publication today, followed by the Palgrave imprint, promoting education and academic scholarship around the world. Both continue to be at the forefront of ground-breaking research in their fields and are key parts of Macmillan, even today.
When former British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, became chairperson in the middle of the 20th century, he decided that education should be a key investment area of the organisation. With his vision, the company established itself as a world leading educational publisher with an outstanding reputation.
His famous ‘winds of change’ tour of Africa in the 1960s not only changed the political face of Africa, but also provided the grand old man of publishing an opportunity to expand the Macmillan Publishing empire throughout the continent from oil-rich Nigeria to diamond-rich South Africa.
In 1976 two prolific Namibian citizens, Dr TJ Viljoen, an expert in African languages and Mr H van Wyk, a former teacher and businessman, started a publishing company called Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers. It was a question of honour to produce books specifically for Namibians by Namibians. Years of practice and experience had made them into experts in the publishing field in Namibia. In 1990, Macmillan Education acquired shares in this company and this has not only benefited Namibians greatly by exposing them to books published in Britain, but has also exposed Namibian authors to overseas markets.