Hamlyn (publishers)

Hamlyn is a UK publishing company founded by Paul Hamlyn in 1950 with an initial investment of £350. His desire was to create "fine books with the common touch" which remains the foundation of its commercial success. It is part of the Octopus Publishing Group, now owned by Hachette Livre.

Parent companyOctopus Books
Founded1950 (1950)
FounderPaul Hamlyn
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks
  • Sun Books (1968–71)
  • Godsfield Press (2003–present)
  • Gaia Books (2004–present)
Official websitewww.hamlyn.co.uk


Paul Hamlyn sold the company to the International Publishing Company (now Time Inc. UK) in 1964, but stayed on until 1969.

In 1964 Hamlyn commenced in Australia under the management of Kevin Weldon. It owned an interest in the Australian independent paperback publisher Sun Books from 1968 until 1971 when Macmillan Australia acquired that company.[1]

Paul Hamlyn bought the company back in 1986 and added it to the holdings of his new company, Octopus Books. Octopus was sold in 1987 to Reed International. Hamlyn's children's division was sold to the Egmont Group in 1998. Hachette Livre bought Octopus in 2001.

Hamlyn is an international publisher of non-fiction illustrated books. Two thirds of the business is in international, North American and export markets. Since 2003 the publisher has made two significant acquisitions:

Godsfield Press was acquired by Hamlyn in October 2003. It is a niche international publisher of illustrated books for the spirituality and alternative health market.

Gaia Books was acquired in March 2004. It is a producer of international co-editions in the field of alternative philosophies and lifestyle.

Octopus Books was sold to Lagardère Group and managed under Lagardère Publishing.[2]


  1. Munro 2006, pp. 69–72.
  2. Guthrie 2011, p. 92.


  • Munro, Craig (2006). Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia 1946-2005 (1st ed.). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: University of Queensland. pp. 69–72. ISBN 978-0702235597.
  • Guthrie, Richard (2011). Publishing: Principles and Practice (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications. p. 92. ISBN 978-1847870148.

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