The Darton Family

1. Harvey and Darton was a printing, publishing, engraving, and bookselling firm co-owned by business partners Joseph Harvey and William Darton Sr. Harvey and Darton was formed in 1791 when Harvey became Darton’s partner in the printing business. Subsequently, James Harvey (Joseph Harvey’s brother) became a partner in the printing firm in 1805 and Samuel Darton (William Darton Sr.‘s son) joined the publishing house in 1810. William Darton Sr. died in 1819, Joseph Harvey retired in 1833, Samuel Darton died in 1840, and James Harvey retired in 1841. The firm itself continued to exist for five years after the Harveys’ retirement, finally closing down in 1846. Harvey and Darton specialized in a variety of areas related to the book trade, specifically printing, publishing, engraving, and bookselling. The firm concentrated on children’s books, although—due to the owners’ adherence to the Quaker religion—it also printed and published anti-slavery literature and various political and religious tracts.

The Poems of Robert Bloomfield (1821; 125pp., 13.7 × 8.5 cm) is of interest for several reasons. As noted on the title-page, it is a stereotyped edition. It is also the shared product of a group of publishers, a practice not uncommon in the Romantic period. The publishers listed are ‘Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown ; Balwin, Cradock and Joy ; Harvey and Darton ; G. Cowie and Co. ; J. Booker ; and Edwards and Knibb.’ The ‘Darton’ in this case is William Darton Sr.’s son, Samuel Darton.