Colburn, Henry (1784/5–1855)

One of the leading publishers of the first half of the nineteenth century. After setting up in business in 1806 he became well-known for promoting popular fiction, including ‘silver fork’ society novels, naval adventures and historical novels. He also had an interest in numerous periodicals, including the New Monthly Magazine, the Literary Gazette and the Athenaeum, and gained a reputation for ‘puffing’ his own authors in their pages. In 1814 Colburn wrote to Southey, asking for biographical details and a portrait of Southey to use in the first issue of his New Monthly Magazine. Southey obliged, directing Colburn to a copy of the bust of Southey sculpted in 1813. The article and portrait appeared in the New Monthly Magazine, 1 (January–June 1814), 566–571.