George Routledge (23 September 1812 – 13 December 1888) was a British publisher, the founder of the publishing house Routledge.
He gained his earliest experience of business with Thurnam & Sons, booksellers, at Carlisle. Proceeding to London in 1833, he started in business for himself as a bookseller in 1836, and as a publisher in 1843, making his first serious success by reprinting the Biblical commentaries of an American writer, Albert Barnes.
His fame as a publisher, however, rests chiefly upon the enormous number of cheap books which he issued. A series of shilling volumes called the Railway Library was an immense success, including as it did Mrs Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and he also published in popular form some of the writings of Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Bulwer-Lytton and Benjamin Disraeli. He also brought out a number of shilling books in Routledge's Universal Library (also known as Morley's Universal Library).
After being styled Routledge, Warne & Routledge, his firm changed its name to that of George Routledge & Sons in 1858. A branch of the business was established in New York in 1854. A beautifully illustrated children's book, titled Wide Awake Stories, was published by George Routledge & Sons, Limited.
He married Maria Elizabeth Warne, who died on 25 March 1855, aged 40. He married, secondly, on 11 May 1858, Mary Grace Bell, the eldest daughter of Alderman Bell of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There were children from each marriage.
His son Edmund Routledge became a partner in July 1865, and the firm became George Routledge & Sons.
He died on 13 December 1888, at 50 Russell Square, London.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Works by George Routledge at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about George Routledge at Internet Archive