Howard Timmins

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Howard Timmins (1904-1984) was a South African publisher.

Also found as Howard B. Timmins


Born in Kimberley in 1904 to Anglo-Irish parents who had come from England. His father was a schoolmaster and they returned to England in 1906 to settle in Barnet.

As a young man he studied publishing and joined George Allen and Unwin. In 1927 he returned to South Africa to become a representative of John Dickinson, the manufacturers of Croxley and other paper brands and in 1936 the South African agent for Hodder and Stoughton.

In 1948 Timmins eventually founded his own publishing company ( variously referred to as Howard Timmins Publishers, Howard Timmins (Pty) Ltd, Howard Timmins & Co. or simply Howard Timmins) and soon established himself as a major force in local publishing, carving a niche for himself in the publishing, promoting and nurturing what has been described as popular non-fiction writing.

Many of his writers of popular histories were either professional journalists or people who had written numerous articles for magazines. Among them were such popular authors as Lawrence G. Green, TV Bulpin and Eric Rosenthal.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

Authors in the field of the performing arts published by Timmins include Lewis Sowden, Thelma Gutsche, Jack Stodel and Donald Inskip.

Important theatre and film histories were published by the Timmins company in the 1970s, among them The Audience is Waiting (Stodel, 1962), Both Sides of the Mask: The World of Muriel Alexander (Sowden, 1964), The History and Social Significance of Motion Pictures in South Africa, 1895-1940 (Gutsche, 1972), Forty Little Years: The Story of a Theatre. (Inskip, 1972), Stage by Stage: The Leonard Schach Story (Inskip, 1977) and From Drury Lane to Mecca (Rosenthal, 1982).

The company also published some play texts, including The Kimberley Train by Lewis Sowden (1976)

Timmins himself retired in 1974 and his publishing company was taken over by Anthony Ashford and was absorbed into the Struik publishing house within ten years.


David Hilton-Barber. 2018. Howard Timmins and his Protégés Footprint Press.[1]

Kathy Munro. 2018. Review of Howard Timmins and his Protégés, The Heritage Portal[2]

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