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Parent companyOctopus Books
Founded1950; 74 years ago (1950)
FounderPaul Hamlyn
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesBooks
  • Sun Books (1968–71)
  • Godsfield Press (2003–present)
  • Gaia Books (2004–present)

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.[1]


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.[2]

In 1975 the Hamlyn Group acquired "a 51 per cent control of Hanna Barbera Australia, an animation production house" and in 1978, James Hardie Industries purchased the Hamlyn Group, thereby "taking control of Hanna Barbera Australia, as well as Rigby Publishers".[3]

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.[4]

Major works

Book series


  1. ^ "Hachette Acquires Octopus". Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  2. ^ Munro 2006, pp. 69–72.
  3. ^ Andrew Urban, "Rising star", The Australian Financial Review, 8 October 1995. Retrieved 17 June 2023.
  4. ^ Guthrie 2011, p. 92.
  5. ^ "Beaver Books" + Hamlyn, Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  6. ^ Hamlyn All-Colour Paperbacks - Book Series List, Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  7. ^ Hamlyn All-Colour Paperbacks, Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  8. ^ Hamlyn All-Colour Paperbacks, Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  9. ^ The Portraits of Greatness Series (Hamlyn) - Book Series List, Retrieved 30 August 2020.