HomeAboutLogin
       
       
 
55 years

   
William Smellie was a Scottish master printer, naturalist, antiquary, editor and encyclopedist. At the age of 28, Smellie was hired by Colin Macfarquhar and Andrew Bell to edit the first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, which appeared in 100 weekly instalments ("numbers") from December 1768 to 1771. It was a masterful composition although, by his own admission, Smellie borrowed liberally from many authors of his day, such as Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson. Nevertheless, the first edition of the Britannica contained gross inaccuracies and fanciful speculations; for example, it states that excess use of tobacco could cause neurodegeneration, "drying up the brain to a little black lump consisting of mere membranes". Smellie strove to make Britannica as usable as possible, saying that "utility ought to be the principal intention of every publication.

More on this Website

 
 
William Smellie was a Scottish master printer, naturalist, antiquary, editor and encyclopedist. At the age of 28, Smellie was hired by Colin Macfarquhar and Andrew Bell to edit the first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, which appeared in 100 weekly instalments ("numbers") from December 1768 to 1771. It was a masterful composition although, by his own admission, Smellie borrowed liberally from many authors of his day, such as Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson. Nevertheless, the first edition of the Britannica contained gross inaccuracies and fanciful speculations; for example, it states that excess use of tobacco could cause neurodegeneration, "drying up the brain to a little black lump consisting of mere membranes". Smellie strove to make Britannica as usable as possible, saying that "utility ought to be the principal intention of every publication. More...

 
    Alexander Pope, Poet
  Alexander Pope, Poet
Alexander Pope is considered one of the greatest English poets of the eighteenth century. Born to a Roman Catholic family in 1688, Pope was educated mostly at home, in part due to laws in force at the time upholding the status of the established Chur...
 
    Voltaire, Author and Philosopher
  Voltaire, Author and Philosopher
François-Marie Arouet, better known by the pen name Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion and free trade. Voltaire was a prolific writer...
 
    Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father USA
  Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father USA
Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and dipl...
 
    Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
  Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author. His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier. Buffon published th...
 
    Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language
  Samuel Johnson, Dictionary of the English Language
Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and commit...
 
    Denis Diderot, Co-founder of the Encyclopédie
  Denis Diderot, Co-founder of the Encyclopédie
Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic and writer. He was a prominent figure during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Did...
 
    Robert Burns, National Poet of Scotland
  Robert Burns, National Poet of Scotland
Robert Burns (also known as Robbie Burns, Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as The Bard) was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national po...
 
       
 
         
          2019 © Timeline Index | Webwork.Amsterdam