MULLEN, Samuel (1828-1890)

bookseller
was born in Dublin on 27 November 1828. In 1844 he was apprenticed to Curry and Company, booksellers and publishers, and some time afterwards went to England and joined the well-known firm of Parker and Company. With his friend, George Robertson (q.v.), he sailed for Australia in the Great Britain and arrived at Melbourne in 1852. Mullen went to the western district to visit some friends and stayed for six months on a station. He then joined George Robertson as his first assistant in Melbourne and remained with him until 1857. He went to London to act as buyer for Robertson, but the arrangement fell through and Mullen decided to start for himself in Melbourne. He returned with a brother, W. L. Mullen, and a good stock of books, and began business in Collins-street in 1859. He started a high-class library based on Mudie's which became a leading lending library in Melbourne. The book-shop was also very successful, a large stock was carried, and it was for long a centre of intellectual life in the city. Mullen retired from business in 1889 and died while on a visit to London on 29 May 1890. He was married twice and was survived by children of both marriages.
Mullen was a sound business man of literary taste who helped to set a high standard in bookselling in Australia. The business was carried on in Collins-street until 1922, when it was amalgamated with George Robertson and Company under the name of Robertson and Mullens Ltd.
L. Slade, The Victorian Historical Magazine, vol. XV, p. 102; The Argus, Melbourne, 2 June 1890.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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