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Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica's Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911

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The publication of the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica in 1911 marked the last stand of the Enlightenment and a turbulent end to an era. The Eleventh Edition summed up the high point of optimism and belief in human progress that dominated Anglo-Saxon thought from the time of the Enlightenment.

Eagerly embraced by hundreds of thousands of middle-class Americans, the Eleventh Edition was read as a twenty-nine-volume anthology of some of the best essays written in English. Among the names of those who contributed to its volumes: T. H. Huxley, Algernon Swinburne, Bertrand Russell; it was the work of 1,500 eminent contributors and was edited by Hugh Chisholm, charismatic star editor.

Boyles tells the outlandish, bumpy tale of the making of the Eleventh; of the young staff of university graduates working with fanatical conviction (40,000 entries by 1,500-odd contributors), scattered around the globe . . . more than 200 members of the Royal Society or fellows of the British Academy; diplomats; government officials; officers of learned societies . . . contributions by the most admired writers, thinkers, and scientists of the day; of their scheme to sell the Eleventh Edition and of the storm that erupted around its publication - and after. An extraordinary tale of American know-how, enterprise, and spirit.

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ISBN: 9780307269171
Publisher: Knopf
Language: English
Page Count: 464
Size: 9.67" l x 6.62" w x 1.61"
Series: N/A