Minerva Press

Minerva Press

Minerva Press was a publishing house, noted for creating a lucrative market in sentimental and Gothic fiction in the late 18th century and early 19th century. It was established by William Lane (1745?-1814) at No 33 Leadenhall Street, London, when he moved his circulating library there in about 1790.

Among his stable of writers were many female authors including Regina Maria Roche (The Maid of Hamlet, 1793; Clermont, 1798); Mrs. Eliza Parsons (The Castle of Wolfenbach, 1793; The Mysterious Warning, 1796); and Eleanor Sleath (The Orphan of the Rhine, 1798) whose Gothic fiction is included in the list of the seven Northanger Horrid Novels, recommended by the character Isabella Thorpe in Jane Austen's novel of similar name. Six of the Northanger Seven were published by Minerva. However many titles were anonymous, including such novels as Count Roderic's Castle (1794), The Haunted Castle (1794), The Animated Skeleton (1798) and The New Monk (1798) [1]. Authors who wrote for Minerva Press are obscure today, and its market became negligible after the death of its charismatic founder.

Lane was succeeded as proprietor of the Minerva Press by his partner, Anthony King (A.K.) Newman, who gradually dropped the Minerva name from his books' title pages during the 1820s. Later books published by the press bear the imprint "A. K. Newman & Co." with no further mention of the Minerva Press.

In the twentieth century, the name Minerva Press was used by at least one publisher; however, this has no connection with the original Minerva Press.


  1. ^ A parody of The Monk (1796) by M.G. "Monk" Lewis.

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