Pan Macmillan has unveiled three author events featuring Julia Donaldson, Axel Sheffler and Kate Mosse to celebrate its 175th anniversary with direct descendants of the publisher's founding brothers also taking part.
The events are running in partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival, the British Library and University of London and will also feature Adam Kay, David Olusoga, Jack Monroe, Chris Riddell, and Joanna Trollope, among others.
Scottish brothers Daniel and Alexander Macmillan published their first books 175 years ago this autumn and so the company is delving into their letters, in an event featuring author and Macmillan decendent Robert McCrum and Daniel’s great-great grandson David Macmillan, as well as showcasing well-known and debut authors published by Pan Mac. Meanwhile acclaimed Scottish poet and Picador poetry editor Don Paterson OBE will give the annual Bloomsbury Chapter Stevenson Lecture as part of the trio of events which begins next month running until late October.
The first gig, ‘Crafting Curious Minds’, takes place on 16th August to be chaired by Mosse (pictured above). Her guests will include: Kay, writer, comedian and bestselling author of This Is Going To Hurt, Jack Monroe, Cooking on a Bootstrap founder and food poverty activist. Ponti author Sharlene Teo will also join along with Jean Hannah Edelstein, the writer and journalist whose memoir This Really Isn’t About You is out this autumn and Omar El Akkad, US journalist and author of American War, Darren “Loki” McGarvey, whose Orwell Prize winning book Poverty Safari is republished by Pan Macmillan in August.
Meanwhile ‘Dear Mac’ takes place on 18th September at the British Library in central London, showcasing Pan Mac authors reading aloud the correspondence of some of the publisher’s most celebrated writers of the last 175 years, many of which are held in the Macmillan archive at the British Library. These include the correspondance to the Macmillan brothers from Thomas Hardy, Millicent Fawcett and Christina Rossetti, who often addressed their letters, ‘Dear Mac’ or ‘Dear Macmillan’ with readers to include direct descendents of the Macmillan borthers. Chris Riddell, Sharlene Teo, McCrum and David Olusoga will be joined by Donaldson and Trollope in reading out the letters as well as Daniel’s great-great grandson David Macmillan.
Completing the trio of celebratory events will be Paterson delivering the annual Bloomsbury Chapter Stevenson Lecture in memory of Professor Iain Stevenson at Senate House, University of London, on 22nd October. Entitled ‘The Golden Treasury’, it will explore Macmillan’s poetry publishing over the last 175 years, from Alfred Lord Tennyson and The Golden Treasury to the current Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy and Mercury Prize nominee Kate Tempest. It will also draw on Paterson’s own experiences as a celebrated poet, as professor of poetry at the University of St Andrews and as the founding editor of Picador’s poetry list at Pan Macmillan over the last 21 years.
The ticketed public event follows Bloomsbury Chapter’s academic conference in partnership with Palgrave Macmillan and Pan Macmillan, which takes the theme ‘Faithful to our work: 175 years of Macmillan publishing’.
The lecture coincides with the publication of a new edition of The Golden Treasury by Macmillan Collector’s Library featuring a blue cloth cover and golden leaf flock. The resissue of the title, which was announced in February, follows on from the 1861-published original edition that sold close to 100,000 copies, according to Pan Macmillan, the new version will be bound in real cloth and feature a ribbon marker and gilt edges. It also will feature a foreword from UK poet and Picador author Carol Ann Duffy.
Pan Mac also announced another campaign celebrating its milestone anniversay, with the allocation of £1,750 to seven indie bookshops to launch a "new and innovative project" in their store, with those focusing on community outreach or supporting new readers particularly encouraged.