Tonson, Jacob (tŏnˈsən) [key], 1656?–1736, English publisher. He and his brother Richard purchased the publication rights to Milton's Paradise Lost, a transaction later claimed as the firm's most profitable. With John Dryden he published a series of miscellany volumes (6 vol., 1684–1709), edited by Dryden and often referred to as Dryden's miscellany or Tonson's miscellany. Tonson was secretary of the Kit-Cat Club, a literary club which he founded c.1700, and was publisher of works by Addison, Steele, and Pope, among others.
See study by K. M. Lynch (1971).