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W. H. Allen & Co.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

W. H. Allen & Co.
StatusDefunct, 1991
Founded1835 (1835)
FounderWilliam Houghton Allen
SuccessorVirgin Books
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks
Nonfiction topicsNonfiction
Fiction genresScience fiction
ImprintsTarget Books
Owner(s)Ebury Publishing

William H. Allen and Company (est. 1835) was a bookselling and publishing business in London, England,[1] at first known for issuing works related to the British colonies.[2] It operated from headquarters in Leadenhall Street, later moving to Waterloo Place. Early owners and staff included James P. Allen, William Ferneley Allen (d. 1877), and William Houghton Allen.[3]

After a series of acquisitions, the W. H. Allen name disappeared in 1991.


By 1975 W. H. Allen was part of the British conglomerate Howard & Wyndham Ltd. During 1977 and 1978 the Wyndham identity was phased out, with the whole publishing line being identified with the W. H. Allen brand. The Target Books paperback line became well known for its highly successful range of novelisations and other assorted books based on the popular science fiction television series Doctor Who.

In 1977, W. H. Allen acquired Warner Communications' publishing division, including Williams Publishing and Thorpe & Porter; but by 1978–1979 W. H. Allen decided to close down both divisions.[4]

W. H. Allen was acquired by Virgin Books in a process that spanned late 1986 to late 1987.[5] Virgin Books was incorporated into W. H. Allen in 1989, but in 1991 W. H. Allen was renamed Virgin Publishing Ltd. Random House, through its United Kingdom division, acquired a 90% stake in Virgin Books in March 2007.[6] In November 2009, Virgin became an independent imprint within Ebury Publishing, a division of the Random House Group.[7]


  • Black, Kingsbury, and Parbury
  • Black, Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen, 1818–1822[1][8]
  • Kingsbury, Parbury, and Allen, 1822–1827 (William Houghton Allen, Thomas Kingsbury, Charles Parbury)[9][1]
  • Parbury, Allen, and Co., 1827–1834 (William Houghton Allen, Charles Parbury)[9][10][11]
  • Parbury and Allen

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen". Bibliothèque nationale de France. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. ^ Theo D'haen; et al., eds. (2012). Routledge Companion to World Literature. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-65575-3.
  3. ^ "Obituary", The Bookseller, London, 2 June 1877. Pages 498–500; William Ferneley Allen, page 499.
  4. ^ Skinn, Dez. "The End of HoH".
  5. ^ Howe, David J. (2007). The Target Book. Surrey: Telos Publishing Ltd. p. 112.
  6. ^ Joel Rickett, Random House UK buys Virgin Books, The Bookseller, 5 March 2007 (via
  7. ^ Benedicte Page, "Virgin joins Ebury stable, Sadler leaving", The Bookseller, 2 November 2009.
  8. ^ Post Office London Directory for 1820, Critchett & Woods, 1799, hdl:2027/njp.32101073399170.
  9. ^ a b Britain, Great (30 January 1827), London Gazette.
  10. ^ Leigh's New Picture of London. Samuel Leigh. 1827.
  11. ^ "Parbury, Allen, and Co". WorldCat. Retrieved 1 February 2017.


issued by the firm

This page was last edited on 2 March 2023, at 03:14
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