Share / Discuss

The Pirate Prince of Publishing

Thomas Bird Mosher was an unlikely person to become America’s first publisher of beautiful limited editions of fine literature at affordable prices.

Born in 1852 as the son of a Maine clipper ship captain, Mosher ended his formal education at eighth grade. By his early teens, he’d rounded Cape Horn four times in his father’s ship, voraciously reading English literature by the light of a dim oil lamp. He ultimately published hundreds of jewel-like books, principally by late Victorian authors, with and without their permission. I recently donated my father’s collection of 58 Mosher books to Swarthmore, so drop by McCabe Library to take a look.