ROBINSON CRUSOE -  An English Graphical Bibliography 

F (continued)

Fitchett Brothers Proprietary Limited (1834?-1908)
London company of Whittaker & Co. was at a prestigious London book selling address of Paternoster Square, with a previous address at Ave Maria Lane in London, and the earliest date found for this company was 1834. Although it published and sold numerous books over many decades, it was not one of the giant sellers, publishers, printers, binders and stationers. It had an eclectic mix of books on religion, foreign languages, mathematics and science and also a set of books known as the “Specialist Series” such as one authored by A.B. Griffiths Ph.D., F.R.S.E. A Treatise on Manures; or, The Philosophy of Manuring: A Practical Handbook for the Agriculturist, Manufacturer, and Student. There was an a company advert in The Publishers’ Circular dated Dec. 1, 1859 for Rev. James Harris’s Questions on the Old and New Testaments for the use of schools and biblical students.
"There was (?)never a person by the name of Whittaker at the London firm, and the Melbourne firm involved a father and son, not brothers."
William Henry Fitchett's career as a journalist and writer began with a weekly column, ‘Easy Chair Chat’ in the Methodist Spectator and Wesleyan Chronicle under the pen name ‘XYZ’ (1875-79). In 1882 he became the editor of the Southern Cross, a weekly religious paper, and in April 1900 his son, Thomas Shaw Fitchett (?ca.1871-1949), a printer and publisher (named on the advert cover), became manager. In 1902, Thomas Shaw Fitchett published the New Idea, a women’s magazine which became Everylady’s Journal in 1911. William Henry wrote occasional articles for this as well as becoming editor in 1904 of his son’s companion publication, Life.
The continuation of T.S. Fitchett’s editorial career is derived from a website devoted to Australian comics! It certainly suggests that the firm on the advert cover should have been named Fitchett and Son, not Fitchett Brothers. “The popularity of new adventure comic strips was not lost on Fitchett Bros. Pty Ltd. of West Melbourne, the proprietors of the New Idea, Australia’s oldest women’s magazine. The company’s founder, Thomas Shaw Fitchett, couldn’t have failed to notice the growing success that its main rival The Australian Women’s Weekly, was enjoying with its new comic strip, Mandrake the Magician, which made its Australian debut on 1 December 1934......Part of the New Ideas editorial response to this new competitor was to introduce new features.... the New Idea unveiled Buck Rogers as its new comic strip serial on 17 April 1936.”
The Rev. W.H. Fitchettdied in 1928 andThomas Shaw Fitchett died in 1949. [from Australian Postal History& Social Philately]

  1. The Story of Robinson Crusoe. Abridged and edited to suit the requirements of the Education Department of Vic by Charles Barrett. Grade 1V-6D Melbourne, Fitchett Brothers Proprietary Limited, 1912

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