Person NameConstable; Archibald (1774-1827); Publisher
ActivityArchibald Constable was born in Fife in 1774 and was apprenticed to a bookseller in Edinburgh. He was encouraged to participate in the purchase of books for the shop, which helped him to learn the trade quickly. At the age of nineteen he opened his own shop and, having married the daughter of a printer, he began to publish books in 1798. His shop was the centre of a learned circle of authors and scholars, which helped him in his trade. He purchased the successful ‘Scots Magazine’ in 1801 and from the following year published the ‘Edinburgh Review’, a magazine with Whig tendencies. An editor and author in a small way himself, he concentrated on local historical subjects. Though he himself was successful, publishing the works of Walter Scott and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the financial collapse of his London agents in 1826 led to his own bankruptcy and then to Scott’s. He died the following year: he had been ill for some time but the shock of the bankruptcy seems to have deprived him of the will to live.
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