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The Evolution of Cengage: 50 Years of History

The Beginning…

In 1967, business first opened on Walworth Industrial Estate known as Associated Book Publishers. This was a group of independent publishers that covered a wide variety of genres ranging from legal to academic to children’s. The publishers in this group were Sweet & Maxwell, Chapman & Hall, Methuen & Co, Tavistock Publications, Eyre & Spottiswoode, Eyre Methuen and Methuen Children’s Books.

Chapman & Hall

Publishers of Charles Dickens from 1840 until 1844 and then again from 1858 to 1870.

Eyre Methuen

Published the works of the Monty Python team.

Methuen Children’s Books

Published works of Kenneth Grahame.

The Growth of Walworth Industrial Estate

The building was populated with 50 staff being relocated and 200 more recruited and trained. A few years later, the grew with the main offices expanded upwards to three floors and a bulk warehouse was built to support growth.

Thomson Learning

20 years later, the business was acquired by the Thomson Corporation which at the time owned newspapers, Thomson Holidays, Britannia Airways, and several publishers: Gale Research, Wadsworth Publishing, Thomas Nelson and the military publisher, Janes.

A year after that, Thomson sold its divisions in trade, children’s and religious books and formed International Thomson Publishing.


Continuing to grow, Thomson started acquiring other publishers: Croom Helm, Routledge Kegan Paul (RKP), and Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Menthuen & Co, Tavistock, Croom Helm and RKP were merged to create Routledge which in 1998 was sold to Cinven.

Cengage Learning


In 2007, Thomson sold its global education business to investors and Thomson Learning became Cengage Learning.

Today There Are Three Cengage Businesses:

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