A BRIEF HISTORY OF DUTTON
The images above are from Seventy-Five Years, or the Joys and Sorrows of Publishing and Selling Books at Duttons. From left to right the
images show E. P. Dutton, Inside the Broadway Dutton Bookstore, and a view of the outside of the Broadway Bookstore in the 1800's.
Dutton has a rich and storied publishing history that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It had its beginnings as a bookselling firm in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1852 that was led by Mr. Edward Payson Dutton and his partner Mr. Lemuel Ide under the name Ide & Dutton. Six years later, in 1858, Mr. Dutton bought out Mr. Ide and officially changed the name to E.P. Dutton & Co. In 1864, the famous Boston bookstore Ticknor & Fields sold its store along with its small publishing division on Washington Street to E.P. Dutton & Co. The first published books under the Dutton name were religious texts for Sunday schools that primarily serviced Episcopal churches.
The Life of Christ, Dutton's
first bestselling title.
In 1869, Dutton opened a store in New York City at 713 Broadway, expanding both his retail and publishing business. By 1874, most of the 700 books in E.P. Dutton & Co.'s inventory were either juvenile or religious books. The first bestseller was the two-volume The Life of Christ by Frederic W. Farrar. Shiloh by M.L. Jay was another major bestseller that helped sustain the fledgling company. In the early 1900s, under the direction of visionary publisher John Macrae, Dutton published the "Everyman's Library," which sought to issue the best in literature from around the world. More than 650 books were included and the collection sold millions.
(Above) E. P. Dutton's tombstone, located at Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum in New York
Edward Payson Dutton died September 6, 1923, at the age of 92, and is buried in the Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum of Washington Heights in upper-Manhattan. Four years after his death, in celebration of the first 75 years as a bookseller and publisher, E.P. Dutton & Co. published a book about their history entitled Seventy-Five Years, or the Joys and Sorrows of Publishing and Selling Books at Duttons. The book was printed in Brooklyn, complete with gilded edges, as well as a fold-out, four-color frontispiece depicting its first bookstore in Boston. The initial and only printing of the volume was only 500 copies, 150 of which were given to friends, family, and favorite customers and vendors, while 350 were sold to the public from Dutton's Fifth Avenue store.
(Left) The title page of Seventy-Five Years, or the Joys and Sorrows of Publishing and Selling Books at Duttons, taken from one
of the five hundred printed books. (Below) The fold-out frontispiece of the book, depicting the original Boston Bookstore.
The next 75 years accounted for a great deal of growth for Dutton as a publishing house. In 1952, E.P. Dutton & Co. celebrated their 100th Anniversary as a bookseller and publisher by selling a commemorative edition of a history of celebrated literary novels. E.P. Dutton & Co. was acquired by New American Library in 1985, and from then on was known only as Dutton. Dutton would continue to publish in hardcover, but its reprints would move to either Plume in trade paperback or NAL in mass market, a tradition that continues to this day. A year later, in 1986, Dutton/NAL was acquired by Penguin, and Dutton split into two imprints: Dutton and Dutton Children's Books. In 2013, Penguin and Random House merged, making Dutton an imprint of the newly formed Penguin Random House.
To commemorate 150 years of book publishing, Dutton has a redesigned logotype, replacing the previous logo of a scripted "D", which had been used for thirty years. The new design fits with the first logotype E.P. Dutton used in the mid-nineteenth century.
(Left) Original Dutton logotype. (Center) The Dutton "D" which has been on book spines for the past 30 years.
(Right) The new Dutton logo, which reflects the original design, to mark the 150th anniversary of when E.P. Dutton & Co.
bought the Old Corner Bookstore and began publishing books in earnest.
Over the years, Dutton has published many influential authors, including G.K. Chesterton, Mickey Spillane, Ayn Rand, Jose Luis Borges, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates, Gail Sheehy, and A.A. Milne, as well as recent bestselling authors such as Eckhart Tolle, Ken Follett, Timothy Keller, and Harlan Coben. The noteworthy books Dutton has published in the last forty years include Passages by Gail Sheehy, The World According to Garp by John Irving, The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, A Man Named Dave by Dave Pelzer, Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, No Second Chance by Harlan Coben, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken, Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, World Without End by Ken Follett, The Reason for God by Timothy Keller, Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George, and No Easy Day by Mark Owen.