ENCYCLOPAEDIA. The Greeks seem to have understood by encyclopaedia (ἐγκυκλοπαιδεία, or ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία) instruction in the whole circle (ἐν κυκλῷ) or complete system of learning—education in arts and sciences. Thus Pliny, in the preface to his Natural History, says that his book treated of all the subjects of the encyclopaedia of the Greeks, “Jam omnia attingenda quae Graeci τῆς ἐγκυκλοπαιδείας vocant.” Quintilian (Inst. Orat. i. 10) directs that before boys are placed under the rhetorician they should be instructed in the other arts, “ut efficiatur orbis ille doctrinae quam Graeci ἐγκυκλοπαιδείαν vocant.” Galen (De victus ratione in morbis acutis, c. 11) speaks of those who are not educated ἐν τῇ ἐγκυκλοπαιδείᾳ. In these passages of Pliny and Quintilian, however, from one or both of which the modern use of the word seems to have been taken, ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία is now read, and this seems to have been the usual expression. Vitruvius (lib. vi. praef.) calls the encyclios or ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία of the Greeks “doctrinarum omnium disciplina,” instruction in all branches of learning. Strabo (lib. iv. cap. 10) speaks of philosophy καὶ τὴν ἄλλην παιδείαν ἐγκύκλιον. Tzetzes (Chiliades, xi. 527), quoting from Porphyry’s Lives of the Philosophers, says that ἐγκύκλια μαθήματα was the circle of grammar, rhetoric, philosophy and the four arts under it, arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy. Zonaras explains it as grammar, poetry, rhetoric, philosophy, mathematics and simply every art and science (ἁπλῶς πᾶσα τέχνη καὶ ἐπιστήμη), because sophists go through them as through a circle. The idea seems to be a complete course of instruction in all parts of knowledge. An epic poem was called cyclic when it contained the whole mythology; and among physicians κύκλῳ θεραπεύειν, cyclo curare (Vegetius, De arte veterinaria, ii. 5, 6), meant a cure effected by a regular and prescribed course of diet and medicine (see Wower, De polymathia, c. 24, § 14).
The word encyclopaedia was probably first used in English by Sir Thomas Elyot. “In an oratour is required to be a heape of all maner of lernyng: whiche of some is called the worlde of science, of other the circle of doctrine, whiche is in one worde of greke Encyclopedia” (The Governour, bk. i. chap. xiii.). In his Latin dictionary, 1538, he explains “Encyclios et Encyclia, the cykle or course of all doctrines,” and “Encyclopedia, that lernynge whiche comprehendeth all lyberall science and studies.” The term does not seem to have been used as the title of a book by the ancients or in the middle ages. The edition of the works of Joachimus Fortius Ringelbergius, printed at Basel in 1541, is called on the title-page Lucubrationes vel potius absolutissima κυκλοπαιδεια. Paulus Scalichius de Lika, an Hungarian count, wrote Encyclopaediae seu orbis disciplinarum epistemon (Basileae, 1599, 4to). Alsted published in 1608 Encyclopaedia cursus philosophici, and afterwards expanded this into his great work, noticed below, calling it without any limitation Encyclopaedia, because it treats of everything that can be learned by man in this life. This is now the most usual sense in which the word encyclopaedia is used—a book treating of all the various kinds of knowledge. The form “cyclopaedia” is not merely without any appearance of classical authority, but is etymologically less definite, complete and correct. For as Cyropaedia means “the instruction of Cyrus,” so cyclopaedia may mean “instruction of a circle.” Vossius says, “Cyclopaedia is sometimes found, but the best writers say encyclopaedia” (De vitiis sermonis, 1645, p. 402). Gesner says, “κύκλος est circulus, quae figura est simplicissima et perfectissima simul: nam incipi potest ubicunque in illa et ubicunque cohaeret. Cyclopaedia itaque significat omnem doctrinarum scientiam inter se cohaerere; Encyclopaedia est institutio in illo circulo.” (Isagoge, 1774, i. 40).
In a more restricted sense, encyclopaedia means a system or classification of the various branches of knowledge, a subject on which many books have been published, especially in Germany, as Schmid’s Allgemeine Encyklopädie und Methodologie der Wissenschaften (Jena, 1810, 4to, 241 pages). In this sense the Novum Organum of Bacon has often been called an encyclopaedia. But it is “a grammar only of the sciences: a cyclopaedia is not a grammar, but a dictionary; and to confuse the meanings of grammar and dictionary is to lose the benefit of a distinction which it is fortunate that terms have been coined to convey” (Quarterly Review, cxiii. 354). Fortunius Licetus, an Italian physician, entitled several of his dissertations on Roman altars and other antiquities encyclopaedias (as, for instance, Encyclopaedia ad Aram mysticam Nonarii, Pataviae, 1631, 4to), because in composing them he borrowed the aid of all the sciences. The Encyclopaedia moralis of Marcellinus de Pise (Paris, 1646, fol., 4 vols.) is a series of sermons. Encyclopaedia is often used to mean a book which is, or professes to be, a complete or very full collection or treatise relating to some particular subject, as Blaine’s work, The Encyclopaedia of Rural Sports (London, 1852); The Encyclopaedia of Wit (London, 1803); The Vocal Encyclopaedia (London, 1807, 16mo), a collection of songs, catches, &c. The word is frequently used for an alphabetical dictionary treating fully of some science or subject, as Murray, Encyclopaedia of Geography (London, 1834); Lefebvre Laboulaye, Encyclopédie technologique: Dictionnaire des arts et manufactures (Paris, 1845–1847). Whether under the name of “dictionary” or “encyclopaedia” large numbers of this class of reference-work have been published. These are essentially encyclopaedic, being subject books and not word-books. The important books of this character are referred to in the articles dealing with the respective subjects, but the following may be mentioned here: the Jewish Encyclopedia, in 12 vols. (1901), a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times; the Encyclopaedia of Sport, 2 vols. (1897–1898); Holtzendorff’s Encyklopädie der Rechtswissenschaft (1870; an edition in 2 vols., 1904); the Dictionary of Political Economy, edited by R. H. Inglis Palgrave, 3 vols. (1894; reprinted 1901); the Encyclopaedia Biblica, edited by T. K. Cheyne and J. Sutherland Black, 4 vols. (1899–1903); the Dictionary of the Bible, edited by James Hastings, 4 vols., with a supplementary volume (1904); an interesting series is the Répertoire général du commerce, dealing with the foreign trade of France, of which one part, the Encyclopaedia of Trade between the United States of America and France, with a preface by M. Gabriel Hanotaux, appeared, in French and English, in 1904.
The great Chinese encyclopaedias are referred to in the article on Chinese Literature. It will be sufficient to mention here the Wên hien t’ung k’ao, compiled by Ma Twa-lin in the 14th century, the encyclopaedia ordered to be compiled by the Emperor Yung-loh in the 15th century, and the Ku Kin t‛u shu thi ch‛êng prepared for the Emperor K‛ang-hi (d. 1721), in 5020 volumes. A copy of this enormous work, bound in some 700 volumes, is in the British Museum.
The most ancient encyclopaedia extant is Pliny’s Natural History in 37 books (including the preface) and 2493 chapters, which may be thus described generally:—book 1, preface; book 2, cosmography, astronomy and meteorology; books 3 to 6, geography; books 7 to 11, zoology, including man, and the invention of the arts; books 12 to 19, botany; books 20 to 32, medicines, vegetable and animal remedies, medical authors and magic; books 33 to 37, metals, fine arts, mineralogy and mineral remedies. Pliny, who died A.D. 79, was not a naturalist, a physician or an artist, and collected his work in his leisure intervals while engaged in public affairs. He says it contains 20,000 facts (too small a number by half, says Lemaire), collected from 2000 books by 100 authors. Hardouin has given a list of 464 authors quoted by him. His work was a very high authority in the middle ages, and 43 editions of it were printed before 1536.
Martianus Minneus Felix Capella, an African, wrote (early in the 5th cent.), in verse and prose, a sort of encyclopaedia, which is important from having been regarded in the middle ages as a model storehouse of learning, and used in the schools, where the scholars had to learn the verses by heart, as a text-book of high-class education in the arts. It is sometimes entitled Satyra, or Satyricon, but is usually known as De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, though this title is sometimes confined to the first two books, a rather confused allegory ending with the apotheosis of Philologia and the celebration of her marriage in the milky way, where Apollo presents to her the seven liberal arts, who, in the succeeding seven books, describe their respective branches of knowledge, namely, grammar, dialectics (divided into metaphysics and logic), rhetoric, geometry (geography, with some single geometrical propositions), arithmetic (chiefly the properties of numbers), astronomy and music (including poetry). The style is that of an African of the 5th century, full of grandiloquence, metaphors and strange words. He seldom mentions his authorities, and sometimes quotes authors whom he does not even seem to have read. His work was frequently copied in the middle ages by ignorant transcribers, and was eight times printed from 1499 to 1599. The best annotated edition is by Kopp (Frankfort, 1836, 4to), and the most convenient and the best text is that of Eysserhardt (Lipsiae, 1866, 8vo).
Isidore, bishop of Seville from 600 to 630, wrote Etymologiarum libri XX. (often also entitled his Origines) at the request of his friend Braulio, bishop of Saragossa, who after Isidore’s death divided the work into books, as it was left unfinished, and divided only into titles.
The tenth book is an alphabet of 625 Latin words, not belonging to his other subjects, with their explanations as known to him, and often with their etymologies, frequently very absurd. The other books contain 448 chapters, and are:—1, grammar (Latin); 2, rhetoric and dialectics; 3, the four mathematical disciplines—arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy; 4, medicine; 5, laws and times (chronology), with a short chronicle ending in 627; 6, ecclesiastical books and offices; 7, God, angels and the orders of the faithful; 8, the church and sects; 9, languages, society and relationships; 11, man and portents; 12, animals, in eight classes, namely, pecora et jumenta, beasts, small animals (including spiders, crickets and ants), serpents, worms, fishes, birds and small winged creatures, chiefly insects; 13, the world and its parts; 14, the earth and its parts, containing chapters on Asia, Europe and Libya, that is, Africa; 15, buildings, fields and their measures; 16, stones (of which one is echo) and metals; 17, de rebus rusticis; 18, war and games; 19, ships, buildings and garments; 20, provisions, domestic and rustic instruments.
Isidore appears to have known Hebrew and Greek, and to have been familiar with the Latin classical poets, but he is a mere collector, and his derivations given all through the work are not unfrequently absurd, and, unless when very obvious, will not bear criticism. He seldom mentions his authorities except when he quotes the poets or historians. Yet his work was a great one for the time, and for many centuries was a much valued authority and a rich source of material for other works, and he had a high reputation for learning both in his own time and in subsequent ages. His Etymologies were often imitated, quoted and copied. MSS. are very numerous: Antonio (whose editor, Bayer, saw nearly 40) says, “plures passimque reperiuntur in bibliothecarum angulis.” This work was printed nine times before 1529.
Hrabanus Maurus, whose family name was Magnentius, was educated in the abbey of Fulda, ordained deacon in 802 (“Annales Francorum” in Bouquet, Historiens de la France, v. 66), sent to the school of St Martin of Tours, then directed by Alcuin, where he seems to have learned Greek, and is said by Trithemius to have been taught Hebrew, Syriac and Chaldee by Theophilus an Ephesian. In his Commentaries on Joshua (lib. ii. c. 5) he speaks of having resided at Sidon. He returned to Fulda and taught the school there. He became abbot of Fulda in 822, resigned in April 842, was ordained archbishop of Mainz on the 26th of July 847, and died on the 4th of February 856. He compiled an encyclopaedia De universo (also called in some MSS. De universali natura, De natura rerum, and De origine rerum) in 22 books and 325 chapters. It is chiefly a rearrangement of Isidore’s Etymologies, omitting the first four books, half of the fifth and the tenth (the seven liberal arts, law, medicine and the alphabet of words), and copying the rest, beginning with the seventh book, verbally, though with great omissions, and adding (according to Ritter, Geschichte der Philosophie, vii. 193, from Alcuin, Augustine or some other accessible source) the meanings given in the Bible to the subject matter of the chapter; while things not mentioned in Scripture, especially such as belong to classical antiquity, are omitted, so that his work seems to be formed of two alternating parts. His arrangement of beginning with God and the angels long prevailed in methodical encyclopaedias. His last six books follow very closely the order of the last five of Isidore, from which they are taken. His omissions are characteristic of the diminished literary activity and more contracted knowledge of his time. His work was presented to Louis the German, king of Bavaria, at Hersfeld in October 847, and was printed in 1473, fol., probably at Venice, and again at Strassburg by Mentelin about 1472–1475, fol., 334 pages.
Michael Constantine Psellus, the younger, wrote Διδασκαλία παντοδαπή, dedicated to the emperor Michael Ducas, who reigned 1071–1078. It was printed by Fabricius in his Bibliotheca Graeca (1712), vol. v., in 186 pages 4to and 193 chapters, each containing a question and answer. Beginning with divinity, it goes on through natural history and astronomy, and ends with chapters on excessive hunger, and why flesh hung from a fig-tree becomes tender. As collation with a Turin MS. showed that 35 chapters were wanting, Harles has omitted the text in his edition of Fabricius, and gives only the titles of the chapters (x. 84–88).
The author of the most famous encyclopaedia of the middle ages was Vincent of Beauvais (q.v.) (c. 1190–c. 1264), whose work Bibliotheca mundi or Speculum majus—divided, as we have it, into four parts, Speculum naturale, Speculum doctrinale, Speculum morale (this part should be ascribed to a later hand), and Speculum historiale—was the great compendium of mid-13th century knowledge. Vincent of Beauvais preserved several works of the middle ages and gives extracts from many lost classics and valuable readings of others, and did more than any other medieval writer to awaken a taste for classical literature. Fabricius (Bibl. Graeca, 1728, xiv. pp. 107-125) has given a list of 328 authors, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Latin, quoted in the Speculum naturale. To these should be added about 100 more for the doctrinale and historiale. As Vincent did not know Greek or Arabic, he used Latin translations. This work is dealt with separately in the article on Vincent of Beauvais.
Brunetto Latini of Florence (born 1230, died 1294), the master of Dante and Guido Cavalcanti, while an exile in France between 1260 and 1267, wrote in French Li Livres dou Tresor, in 3 books and 413 chapters. Book i. contains the origin of the world, the history of the Bible and of the foundation of governments, astronomy, geography, and lastly natural history, taken from Aristotle, Pliny, and the old French Bestiaries. The first part of Book ii., on morality, is from the Ethics of Aristotle, which Brunetto had translated into Italian. The second part is little more than a copy of the well-known collection of extracts from ancient and modern moralists, called the Moralities of the Philosophers, of which there are many MSS. in prose and verse. Book iii., on politics, begins with a treatise on rhetoric, chiefly from Cicero De inventione, with many extracts from other writers and Brunetto’s remarks. The last part, the most original and interesting of all, treats of the government of the Italian republics of the time. Like many of his contemporaries, Brunetto revised his work, so that there are two editions, the second made after his return from exile. MSS. are singularly numerous, and exist in all the dialects then used in France. Others were written in Italy. It was translated into Italian in the latter part of the 13th century by Bono Giamboni, and was printed at Trevigi, 1474, fol., Venice, 1528 and 1533. The Tesoro of Brunetto must not be confounded with his Tesoretto, an Italian poem of 2937 short lines. Napoleon I. had intended to have the French text of the Tesoro printed with commentaries, and appointed a commission for the purpose. It was at last published in the Collection des documents inédits (Paris, 1863, 4to, 772 pages), edited by Chabaille from 42 MSS.
Bartholomew de Glanville, an English Franciscan friar, wrote about 1360 a most popular work, De proprietatibus rerum, in 19 books and 1230 chapters.
Book 1 relates to God; 2, angels; 3, the soul; 4, the substance of the body; 5, anatomy; 6, ages; 7, diseases; 8, the heavens (astronomy and astrology); 9, time; 10, matter and form; 11, air; 12, birds (including insects, 38 names, Aquila to Vespertilio); 13, water (with fishes); 14, the earth (42 mountains, Ararath to Ziph); 15, provinces (171 countries, Asia to Zeugia); 16, precious stones (including coral, pearl, salt, 104 names, Arena to Zinguttes); 17, trees and herbs (197, Arbor to Zucarum); 18, animals (114, Aries to Vipera); 19, colours, scents, flavours and liquors, with a list of 36 eggs (Aspis to Vultur). Some editions add book 20, accidents of things, that is, numbers, measures, weights and sounds. The Paris edition of 1574 has a book on bees.
There were 15 editions before 1500. An English translation was completed 11th February 1398 by John Trevisa, and printed by Wynkyn de Worde, Westminster, 1495? fol.; London, 1533, fol.; and with considerable additions by Stephen Batman, a physician, London, 1582, fol. It was translated into French by Jehan Corbichon at the command of Charles V. of France, and printed 14 times from 1482 to 1556. A Dutch translation was printed in 1479, and again at Haarlem, 1485, fol.; and a Spanish translation by Padre Vincente de Burgos, Tholosa, 1494, fol.
Pierre Bersuire (Berchorius), a Benedictine, prior of the abbey of St Eloi in Paris, where he died in 1362, wrote a kind of encyclopaedia, chiefly relating to divinity, in three parts:—Reductorium morale super totam Bibliam, 428 moralitates in 34 books on the Bible from Genesis to Apocalypse; Reductorium morale de proprietatibus rerum, in 14 books and 958 chapters, a methodical encyclopaedia or system of nature on the plan of Bartholomew de Glanville, and chiefly taken from him (Berchorius places animals next after fishes in books 9 and 10, and adopts as natural classes volatilia, natatilia and gressibilia); Dictionarius, an alphabetical dictionary of 3514 words used in the Bible with moral expositions, occupying in the last edition 1558 folio pages. The first part was printed 11 times from 1474 to 1515, and the third 4 times. The three parts were printed together as Petri Berchorii opera omnia (an incorrect title, for he wrote much besides), Moguntiae, 1609, fol., 3 vols., 2719 pages; Coloniae Agrippinae, 1631, fol., 3 vols.; ib. 1730–1731, fol., 6 vols., 2570 pages.
A very popular small encyclopaedia, Margarita philosophica, in 12 books, divided into 26 tractates and 573 chapters, was written by Georg Reisch, a German, prior of the Carthusians of Freiburg, and confessor of the emperor Maximilian I. Books 1-7 treat of the seven liberal arts; 8, 9, principles and origin of natural things; 10, 11, the soul, vegetative, sensitive and intellectual; 12, moral philosophy. The first edition, Heidelberg, 1496, 4to, was followed by 8 others to 1535. An Italian translation by the astronomer Giovanno Paolo Gallucci was published at Venice in 1594, 1138 small quarto pages, of which 343 consist of additional tracts appended by the translator.
Raphael Maffei, called Volaterranus, being a native of Volterra, where he was born in 1451 and died 5th January 1522, wrote Commentarii Urbani (Rome, 1506, fol., in 38 books), so called because written at Rome. This encyclopaedia, printed eight times up to 1603, is remarkable for the great importance given to geography, and also to biography, a subject not included in previous encyclopaedias. Indeed, the book is formed of three nearly equal parts,—geographia, 11 books; anthropologia (biography), 11 books; and philologia, 15 books. The books are not divided into short chapters in the ancient manner, like those of its predecessors. The edition of 1603 contains 814 folio pages. The first book consists of the table of contents and a classed index; books 2-12, geography; 13-23, lives of illustrious men, the popes occupying book 22, and the emperors book 23; 24-27, animals and plants; 28, metals, gems, stones, houses and other inanimate things; 34, de scientiis cyclicis (grammar and rhetoric); 35, de scientiis mathematicis, arithmetic, geometry, optica, catoptrica, astronomy and astrology; 36-38, Aristotelica (on the works of Aristotle).
Giorgio Valla, born about 1430 at Placentia, and therefore called Placentinus, died at Venice in 1499 while lecturing on the immortality of the soul. Aldus published his work, edited by his son Giovanni Pietro Valla, De expetendis et fugiendis rebus, Venetiis, 1501, fol. 2 vols.
It contains 49 books and 2119 chapters. Book 1 is introductory, on knowledge, philosophy and mathematics, considered generally (he divides everything to be sought or avoided into three kinds—those which are in the mind, in the body by nature or habit, and thirdly, external, coming from without); books 2-4, arithmetic; 5-9, music; 10-15, geometry, including Euclid and mechanics—book 15 being in three long chapters—de spiritualibus, that is, pneumatics and hydraulics, de catoptricis, and de optice; 16-19, astrology (with the structure and use of the astrolabe); 20-23, physics (including metaphysics); 24-30, medicine; 31-34, grammar; 35-37, dialectics; 38, poetry; 39, 40, rhetoric; 41, moral philosophy; 42–-4, economics; 45, politics; 46-48, de corporis commodis et incommodis, on the good and evil of the body (and soul); 49, de rebus externis, as glory, grandeur, &c.
Antonio Zara, born 1574, made bishop of Petina in Istria 1600, finished on the 17th of January 1614 a work published as Anatomia ingeniorum et scientiarum, Venetiis, 1615, 4to, 664 pages, in four sections and 54 membra. The first section, on the dignity and excellence of man, in 16 membra, considers him in all his bodily and mental aspects. The first membrum describes his structure and his soul, and in the latter part contains the author’s preface, the deeds of his ancestors, an account of himself, and the dedication of his book to Ferdinand, archduke of Austria. Four membra treat of the discovery of character by chiromancy, physiognomy, dreams and astrology. The second section treats of 16 sciences of the imagination—writing, magic, poetry, oratory, courtiership (aulicitas), theoretical and mystic arithmetic, geometry, architecture, optics, cosmography, astrology, practical medicine, war, government. The third section treats of 8 sciences of intellect—logic, physics, metaphysics, theoretical medicine, ethics, practical jurisprudence, judicature, theoretical theology. The fourth section treats of 12 sciences of memory—grammar, practical arithmetic, human history, sacred canons, practical theology, sacred history, and lastly the creation and the final catastrophe. The book, now very rare, is well arranged, with a copious index, and is full of curious learning.
Johann Heinrich Alsted, born 1588, died 1638, published Encyclopaedia septem tomis distincta, Herbornae Nassoviorum, 1630, fol. 7 vols., 2543 pages of very small type. It is in 35 books, divided into 7 classes, preceded by 48 synoptical tables of the whole, and followed by an index of 119 pages.
I. Praecognita disciplinarum, 4 books, hexilogia, technologia, archelogia, didactica, that is, on intellectual habits and on the classification, origin and study of the arts. II. Philology, 6 books, lexica, grammar, rhetoric, logic, oratory and poetry; book 5, lexica, contains dictionaries explained in Latin of 1076 Hebrew, 842 Syriac, 1934 Arabic, 1923 Greek and 2092 Latin words, and also nomenclator technologiae, &c., a classified vocabulary of terms used in the arts and sciences, in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, filling 34 pages; book 6 contains Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and German grammars; book 10, poetica, contains a list of 61 Rotwelsch words. III. Theoretic philosophy, 10 books:—book 11, metaphysics; 12, pneumatics (on spirits); 13, physics; 14, arithmetic; 15, geometry; 16, cosmography; 17, uranometria (astronomy and astrology); 18, geography (with maps of the Old World, eastern Mediterranean, and Palestine under the Old and New Testaments, and a plate of Noah’s ark); 19, optics; 20, music. IV. Practical philosophy, 4 books:—21, ethics; 22, economics (on relationships); 23, politics, with florilegium politicum, 119 pages of extracts from historians, philosophers and orators; 24, scholastics (on education, with a florilegium of 25 pages). V. The three superior faculties:—25, theology; 26, jurisprudence; 27, medicine (ending with the rules of the Salernian school). VI. Mechanical arts in general:—book 28, mathematical mechanical arts; book 29, agriculture, gardening, care of animals, baking, brewing, preparing medicines, metallurgy (with mining); book 30, physical mechanical arts—printing, dialling, &c. Under paedutica (games) is Vida’s Latin poem on chess, and one by Leuschner on the ludus Lorzius. VII. Farragines disciplinarum, 5 books:—31, mnemonics; 32, history; 33, chronology; 34, architecture; 35, quodlibetica, miscellaneous arts, as magic, cabbala, alchemy, magnetism, &c., with others apparently distinguished and named by himself, as, paradoxologia, the art of explaining paradoxes; dipnosophistica, the art of philosophizing while feasting; cyclognomica, the art of conversing well de quovis scibili; tabacologia, the nature, use and abuse of tobacco, &c.—in all 35 articles in this book.
Alsted’s encyclopaedia was received with very great applause, and was highly valued. Lami (Entretiens, 1684, p. 188) thought it almost the only encyclopaedia which did not deserve to be despised. Alsted’s learning was very various, and his reading was very extensive and diversified. He gives few references, and Thomasius charges him with plagiarism, as he often copies literally without any acknowledgment. He wrote not long before the appearance of encyclopaedias in modern languages superseded his own and other Latin books, and but a short time before the alphabetical arrangement began to prevail over the methodical. His book was reprinted, Lugduni, 1649, fol. 4 vols., 2608 pages.
Jean de Magnon, historiographer to the king of France, undertook to write an encyclopaedia in French heroic verse, which was to fill ten volumes of 20,000 lines each, and to render libraries merely a useless ornament. But he did not live to finish it, as he was killed at night by robbers on the Pont Neuf in Paris, in April 1662. The part he left was printed as La Science universelle, Paris, 1663, fol., 348 pages,—10 books containing about 11,000 lines. They begin with the nature of God, and end with the history of the fall of man. His verses, say Chaudon and Delandine, are perhaps the most nerveless, incorrect, obscure and flat in French poetry; yet the author had been the friend of Molière, and had acted with him in comedy.
Louis Moréri (born on the 25th of March 1643 at Bargemont, in the diocese of Fréjus, died on the 10th of July 1680 at Paris) wrote a dictionary of history, genealogy and biography, Le Grand Dictionnaire historique, ou le mélange curieux de l’histoire sacrée et profane, Lyons, 1674, fol. He began a second edition on a larger scale, published at Lyons in 1681, in two volumes folio; the sixth edition was edited by Jean le Clerc, Amsterdam, 1691, fol. 4 vols.; the twentieth and last edition, Paris, 1759, fol. 10 vols. Moréri’s dictionary, still very useful, was of great value and importance, although not the first of the kind. It superseded the very inferior compilation of Juigné-Broissinère, Dictionnaire théologique, historique, poétique, cosmographique, et chronologique, Paris, 1644, 4to; Rouen, 1668, &c.,—a translation, with additions, of the Dictionarium historicum, geographicum, et poëticum of Charles Estienne, published in 1553, 4to, and often afterwards. As such a work was much wanted, Juigné’s book went through twelve editions in less than thirty years, notwithstanding its want of criticism, errors, anachronisms, defects and inferior style.
Johann Jacob Hofmann (born on the 11th of September 1635, died on the 10th of March 1706), son of a schoolmaster at Basel, which he is said never to have left, and where he was professor of Greek and History, wrote Lexicon universale historico-geographico-chronologico-poëtico-philologicum, Basileae, 1677, fol. 2 vols., 1823 pages, a dictionary of history, biography, geography, genealogies of princely families, chronology, mythology and philology. At the end is Nomenclator Μιξόγλωττος, an index of names of places, people, &c., in many languages, carefully collected, and explained in Latin, filling 110 pages; with an index of subjects not forming separate articles, occupying 34 pages. In 1683 he published a continuation in 2 vols. fol., 2293 pages, containing, besides additions to the subjects given in his lexicon, the history of animals, plants, stones, metals, elements, stars, and especially of man and his affairs, arts, honours, laws, magic, music, rites and a vast number of other subjects. In 1698 he published a second edition, Lugduni Batavorum, fol. 4 vols., 3742 pages, incorporating the continuation with additions. From the great extent of his plan, many articles, especially in history, are superficial and faulty.
Étienne Chauvin was born at Nismes on the 18th of April 1640. He fled to Rotterdam on the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and in 1688 supplied Bayle’s place in his lectures on philosophy. In 1695 he was invited by the elector of Brandenburg to go as professor of philosophy to Berlin, where he became the representative of the Cartesian philosophy, and died on the 6th of April 1725. He wrote Lexicon rationale, sive thesaurus philosophicus ordine alphabetico digestus, Rotterdami, 1692, fol., 746 pages and 30 plates. An improved and enlarged edition was printed as Lexicon philosophicum secundis curis, Leovardiae, 1713, large folio, 725 pages and 30 plates. This great work may be considered as a dictionary of the Cartesian philosophy, and was very much used by Brucker and other earlier historians of philosophy. It is written in a very dry and scholastic style, and seldom names authorities.
The great dictionary of French, begun by the French Academy on the 7th of February 1639, excluded all words especially belonging to science and the arts. But the success of the rival dictionary of Furetière, which, as its title-page, as well as that of the Essais published in 1684, conspicuously announced, professed to give “les termes de toutes les Sciences et des Arts,” induced Thomas Corneille, a member of the Academy, to compile Le Dictionnaire des arts et des sciences, which the Academy published with the first edition of their dictionary, Paris, 1694, folio, as a supplement in two volumes containing 1236 pages. It was reprinted at Amsterdam, 1696, fol. 2 vols., and at Paris in 1720, and again in 1732, revised by Fontenelle. A long series of dictionaries of arts and sciences have followed Corneille in placing in their titles the arts before the sciences, which he probably did merely in order to differ from Furetière. Corneille professed to quote no author whom he had not consulted; to take plants from Dioscorides and Matthiolus, medicine from Ettmüller, chemistry from a MS. of Perrault, and architecture, painting and sculpture from Félibien; and to give an abridged history of animals, birds and fishes, and an account of all religious and military orders and their statutes, heresiarchs and heresies, and dignities and charges ancient and modern.
Pierre Bayle (born on the 18th of November 1647, died on the 28th of December 1706) wrote a very important and valuable work, Dictionnaire historique et critique, Rotterdam, 1697, fol. 2 vols. His design was to make a dictionary of the errors and omissions of Moréri and others, but he was much embarrassed by the numerous editions and supplements of Moréri. A second edition with an additional volume appeared at Amsterdam in 1702, fol. 3 vols. The fourth edition, Rotterdam, 1720, fol. 4 vols., was much enlarged from his manuscripts, and was edited by Prosper Marchand. It contains 3132 pages besides tables, &c. The ninth edition was published at Basel, 1741, fol. 10 vols. It was translated into English from the second edition, London, 1709, fol. 4 vols., with some slight additions and corrections by the author; and again from the fifth edition of 1730 by Birch and Lockman, London, 1734–1740, fol. 5 vols. J. G. de Chaufepié published Nouveau Dictionnaire historique, Amsterdam, 1750–1756, fol. 4 vols., as a supplement to Bayle. It chiefly consists of the articles added by the English translators with many corrections and additions, and about 500 new articles added by himself, and contains in all about 1400 articles. Prosper Marchand, editor of the fourth edition, left at his death on the 14th of January 1756 materials for a supplementary Dictionnaire historique, La Haye, 1758, fol. 2 vols., 891 pages, 136 articles. It had occupied his leisure moments for forty years. Much of his work was written on small scraps of paper, sometimes 20 in half a page and no larger than a nail, in such small characters that not only the editor but the printer had to use powerful magnifiers. Bayle’s dictionary was also translated into German, Leipzig, 1741–1744, fol. 4 vols., with a preface by J. C. Gottsched. It is still a work of great importance and value.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, a Franciscan friar, who was born in Venice about 1650, made cosmographer to the republic in 1685, became general of his order in 1702, and was found dead at his study table on the 9th of December 1718, began in 1701 to publish a general alphabetical encyclopaedia, written in Italian, at which he had been working for thirty years, Biblioteca universale sacro-profana. It was to explain more than 300,000 words, to include history and biography as well as all other subjects, and to extend to 45 volumes folio. Volumes 1-39 were to contain the dictionary A to Z; 40, 41, the supplement; 42, retractations and corrections; 43, universal index; 44, index divided into matters; 45, index in various languages. But seven volumes only were published, Venezia, 1701–1706, fol., 5609 pages, A to Caque. The first six volumes have each an index of from 28 to 48 pages (in all 224 pages) of subjects, whether forming articles or incidental. The articles in each are numbered, and amount to 30,269 in the six volumes, which complete the letter B. On an average 3 pages contain 22 articles. Each volume is dedicated to a different patron—the pope, the doge, the king of Spain, &c. This work is remarkable for the extent and completeness of its plan, and for being the first great alphabetical encyclopaedia, as well as for being written in a modern language, but it was hastily written and very incorrect. Never, perhaps, says Tiraboschi (Storia della letteratura italiana, viii. 546), was there so quick a writer; he composed a folio volume as easily as others would a page, but he never perfected his works, and what we have of this book will not induce us to regret the want of the remainder.
The first alphabetical encyclopaedia written in English was the work of a London clergyman, John Harris (born about 1667, elected first secretary of the Royal Society on the 30th of November 1709, died on the 7th of September 1719), Lexicon technicum, or an universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, London, 1704, fol., 1220 pages, 4 plates, with many diagrams and figures printed in the text. Like many subsequent English encyclopaedias the pages are not numbered. It professes not merely to explain the terms used in the arts and sciences, but the arts and sciences themselves. The author complains that he found much less help from previous dictionaries than one would suppose, that Chauvin is full of obsolete school terms, and Corneille gives only bare explanations of terms, which often relate only to simple ideas and common things. He omits theology, antiquity, biography and poetry; gives only technical history, geography and chronology; and in logic, metaphysics, ethics, grammar and rhetoric, merely explains the terms used. In mathematics and anatomy he professes to be very full, but says that the catalogues and places of the stars are very imperfect, as Flamsteed refused to assist him. In botany he gave from Ray, Morrison and Tournefort “a pretty exact botanick lexicon, which was what we really wanted before,” with an account of all the “kinds and subalternate species of plants, and their specific differences” on Ray’s method. He gave a table of fossils from Dr Woodward, professor of medicine in Gresham College, and took great pains to describe the parts of a ship accurately and particularly, going often on board himself for the purpose. In law he abridged from the best writers what he thought necessary. He meant to have given at the end an alphabet for each art and science, and some more plates of anatomy and ships, “but the undertaker could not afford it at the price.” A review of his work, extending to the unusual length of four pages, appeared in the Philosophical Transactions, 1704, p. 1699. This volume was reprinted in 1708. A second volume of 1419 pages and 4 plates appeared in 1710, with a list of about 1300 subscribers. Great part of it consisted of mathematical and astronomical tables, as he intended his work to serve as a small mathematical library. He was allowed by Sir Isaac Newton to print his treatise on acids. He gives a table of logarithms to seven figures of decimals (44 pages), and one of sines, tangents and secants (120 pages), a list of books filling two pages, and an index of the articles in both volumes under 26 heads, filling 50 pages. The longest lists are law (1700 articles), chyrurgery, anatomy, geometry, fortification, botany and music. The mathematical and physical part is considered very able. He often mentions his authorities, and gives lists of books on particular subjects, as botany and chronology. His dictionary was long very popular. The fifth edition was published in 1736, fol. 2 vols. A supplement, including no new subjects, appeared in 1744, London, fol., 996 pages, 6 plates. It was intended to rival Ephraim Chambers’s work (see below), but, being considered a bookseller’s speculation, was not well received.
Johann Hübner, rector of the Johanneum in Hamburg, born on the 17th of March 1668, wrote prefaces to two dictionaries written in German, which bore his name, and were long popular. The first was Reales Staats Zeitungs- und Conversations-Lexicon, Leipzig, 1704, 8vo; second edition, 1706, 947 pages; at the end a register of arms, and indexes of Latin and French words; fifth edition, 1711; fifteenth edition 1735, 1119 pages. The thirty-first edition was edited and enlarged by F. A. Rüder, and published by Brockhaus, Leipzig, 1824–1828, 8vo, 4 vols., 3088 pages. It was translated into Hungarian by Fejer, Pesten, 1816, 8vo, 5 vols., 2958 pages. The second, published as a supplement, was Curieuses und reales Natur- Kunst- Berg- Gewerb- und Handlungs-Lexicon, Leipzig, 1712, 8vo, 788 pages, frequently reprinted to 1792. The first relates to the political state of the world, as religion, orders, states, rivers, towns, castles, mountains, genealogy, war, ships; the second to nature, science, art and commerce. They were the work of many authors, of whom Paul Jacob Marpurger, a celebrated and voluminous writer on trade and commerce, born at Nuremberg on the 27th of June 1656, was an extensive contributor, and is the only one named by Hübner.
Johann Theodor Jablonski, who was born at Danzig on the 15th of December 1654, appointed secretary to the newly founded Prussian Academy in 1700, when he went to Berlin, where he died on the 28th of April 1731, published Allgemeines Lexicon der Künste und Wissenschaften, Leipzig, 1721, 4to, a short but excellent encyclopaedia still valued in Germany. It does not include theology, history, geography, biography and genealogy. He not only names his authorities, but gives a list of their works. A new edition in 1748 was increased one-third to 1508 pages. An improved edition, Königsberg and Leipzig, 1767, 4to, 2 vols., 1852 pages, was edited by J. J. Schwabe, public teacher of philosophy at Leipzig.
Ephraim Chambers (q.v.) published his Cyclopaedia; or an Universal Dictionary of Art and Sciences, containing an Explication of the Terms and an Account of the Things Signified thereby in the several Arts, Liberal and Mechanical, and the several Sciences, Human and Divine, London, 1728, fol. 2 vols. The dedication to the king is dated October 15, 1727. Chambers endeavoured to connect the scattered articles relating to each subject by a system of references, and to consider “the several matters, not only in themselves, but relatively, or as they respect each other; both to treat them as so many wholes and as so many parts of some greater whole.” Under each article he refers to the subject to which it belongs, and also to its subordinate parts; thus Copyhold has a reference to Tenure, of which it is a particular kind, and other references to Rolls, Custom, Manor, Fine, Charter-land and Freehold. In his preface he gives an “analysis of the divisions of knowledge,” 47 in number, with classed lists of the articles belonging to each, intended to serve as table of contents and also as a rubric or directory indicating the order in which the articles should be read. But it does so very imperfectly, as the lists are curtailed by many et caeteras; thus 19 occur in a list of 119 articles under Anatomy, which has nearly 2200 articles in Rees’s index. He omits etymologies unless “they appeared of some significance”; he gives only one grammatical form of each word, unless peculiar ideas are arbitrarily attached to different forms, as precipitate, precipitant, precipitation, when each has an article; and he omits complex ideas generally known, and thus “gets free of a vast load of plebeian words.” His work, he says, is a collection, not the produce of one man’s wit, for that would go but a little way, but of the whole commonwealth of learning. “Nobody that fell in my way has been spared, antient or modern, foreign nor domestic, Christian or Jew nor heathen.” To the subjects given by Harris he adds theology, metaphysics, ethics, politics, logic, grammar, rhetoric and poetry, but excludes history, biography, genealogy, geography and chronology, except their technical parts. A second edition appeared in 1738, fol. 2 vols., 2466 pages, “retouched and amended in a thousand places.” A few articles are added and some others enlarged, but he was prevented from doing more because “the booksellers were alarmed with a bill in parliament containing a clause to oblige the publishers of all improved editions of books to print their improvements separately.” The bill after passing the Commons was unexpectedly thrown out by the Lords; but fearing that it might be revived, the booksellers thought it best to retreat though more than twenty sheets had been printed. Five other editions were published in London, 1739 to 1751–1752, besides one in Dublin, 1742, all in 2 vols. fol. An Italian translation, Venezia, 1748–1749, 4to, 9 vols., was the first complete Italian encyclopaedia. When Chambers was in France in 1739 he rejected very favourable proposals to publish an edition there dedicated to Louis XV. His work was judiciously, honestly and carefully done, and long maintained its popularity. But it had many defects and omissions, as he was well aware; and at his death, on the 15th of May 1740, he had collected and arranged materials for seven new volumes. John Lewis Scott was employed by the booksellers to select such articles as were fit for the press and to supply others. He is said to have done this very efficiently until appointed sub-preceptor to the prince of Wales and Prince Edward. His task was entrusted to Dr (afterwards called Sir John) Hill, who performed it very hastily, and with characteristic carelessness and self-sufficiency, copying freely from his own writings. The Supplement was published in London, 1753, fol. 2 vols., 3307 pages and 12 plates. As Hill was a botanist, the botanical part, which had been very defective in the Cyclopaedia, was the best.
Abraham Rees (1743–1825), a famous Nonconformist minister, published a revised and enlarged edition, “with the supplement and modern improvements incorporated in one alphabet,” London, 1778–1788, fol. 2 vols., 5010 pages (but not paginated), 159 plates. It was published in 418 numbers at 6d. each. Rees says that he has added more than 4400 new articles. At the end he gives an index of articles, classed under 100 heads, numbering about 57,000 and filling 80 pages. The heads, with 39 cross references, are arranged alphabetically. Subsequently there were reprints.
One of the largest and most comprehensive encyclopaedias was undertaken and in a great measure completed by Johann Heinrich Zedler, a bookseller of Leipzig, who was born at Breslau 7th January 1706, made a Prussian commerzienrath in 1731, and died at Leipzig in 1760,—Grosses vollständiges Universal Lexicon Aller Wissenschaften und Künste welche bishero durch menschlichen Verstand und Witz erfunden und verbessert worden, Halle and Leipzig, 1732–1750, fol. 64 vols., 64,309 pages; and Nöthige Supplemente, ib. 1751–1754, vols. i. to iv., A to Caq, 3016 pages. The columns, two in a page, are numbered, varying from 1356 in vol. li. to 2588 in vol. xlix. Each volume has a dedication, with a portrait. The first nine are the emperor, the kings of Prussia and Poland, the empress of Russia, and the kings of England, France, Poland, Denmark and Sweden. The dedications, of which two are in verse, and all are signed by Zedler, amount to 459 pages. The supplement has no dedications or portraits. The preface to the first volume of the work is by Johann Peter von Ludewig, chancellor of the university of Halle (born 15th August 1690, died 6th September 1743). Nine editors were employed, whom Ludewig compares to the nine muses; and the whole of each subject was entrusted to the same person, that all its parts might be uniformly treated. Carl Günther Ludovici (born at Leipzig 7th August 1707, public teacher of philosophy there from 1734, died 3rd July 1778) edited the work from vol. xix., beginning the letter M, and published in 1739, to the end, and also the supplement. The work was published by subscription. Johann Heinrich Wolff, an eminent merchant and shopkeeper in Leipzig, born there on the 29th of April 1690, came to Zedler’s assistance by advancing the funds for expenses and becoming answerable for the subscriptions, and spared no cost that the work might be complete. Zedler very truly says, in his preface to vol. xviii., that his Universal Lexicon was a work such as no time and no nation could show, and both in its plan and execution it is much more comprehensive and complete than any previous encyclopaedia. Colleges, says Ludewig, where all sciences are taught and studied, are on that account called universities, and their teaching is called studium universale; but the Universal Lexicon contains not only what they teach in theology, jurisprudence, medicine, philosophy, history, mathematics, &c., but also many other things belonging to courts, chanceries, hunting, forests, war and peace, and to artists, artizans, housekeepers and merchants not thought of in colleges. Its plan embraces not only history, geography and biography, but also genealogy, topography, and from vol. xviii., published in 1738, lives of illustrious living persons. Zedler inquires why death alone should make a deserving man capable of having his services and worthy deeds made known to the world in print. The lives of the dead, he says, are to be found in books, but those of the living are not to be met with anywhere, and would often be more useful if known. In consequence of this preface, many lives and genealogies were sent to him for publication. Cross references generally give not only the article referred to, but also the volume and column, and, when necessary, such brief information as may distinguish the word referred to from others similar but of different meaning. Lists of authorities, often long, exact and valuable are frequently appended to the articles. This work, which is well and carefully compiled, and very trustworthy, is still a most valuable book of reference on many subjects, especially topography, genealogy and biography. The genealogies and family histories are excellent, and many particulars are given of the lives and works of authors not easily found elsewhere.
A work on a new plan was published by Dennis de Coetlogon, a Frenchman naturalized in England, who styled himself “Knight of St Lazare, M.D., and member of the Royal Academy of Angers”—An Universal History of Arts and Sciences, London, 1745, fol. 2 vols., 2529 pages, 33 plates and 161 articles arranged alphabetically. He “endeavours to render each treatise as complete as possible, avoiding above all things needless repetitions, and never puzzling the reader with the least reference.” Theology is divided into several treatises; Philosophy into Ethicks, Logick and Metaphysick, each under its letter; and Physick is subdivided into Anatomy, Botany, Geography, Geometry, &c. Military Art is divided into Army, Fortification, Gunnery. The royal licence is dated 13th March 1740–1741, the dedication is to the duke of Gisors, the pages are numbered, there is an appendix of 35 pages of astronomical tables, and the two indexes, one to each volume, fill 69 pages, and contain about 9000 subjects. The type is large and the style diffuse, but the subject matter is sometimes curious. The author says that his work is the only one of the kind, and that he wrote out with his own hand every line, even the index. But notwithstanding the novelty of his plan, his work does not seem ever to have been popular.
Gianfrancesco Pivati, born at Padua in 1689, died at Venice in 1764, secretary of the Academy of Sciences at Venice, who had published in 1744 a 4to volume containing a Dizionario universale, wrote Nuovo dizionario scientifico e curioso sacro-profano, Venezia, 1746–1751, fol. 10 vols., 7791 pages, 597 plates. It is a general encyclopaedia, including geography, but not history or biography. He gives frequent references to his authorities and much curious information. His preliminary discourse (80 pages) contains a history of the several sciences from mathematics to geography. The book was published by subscription, and at the end of the last volume is a Catalogo dei Signori Associati, 252 in number, who took 266 copies. It is also remarkable for the number of its plates, which are engraved on copper. In each volume they are placed together at the end, and are preceded by an explanatory index of subjects referring to the plates and to the articles they illustrate.
One of the greatest and most remarkable literary enterprises of the 18th century, the famous French Encyclopédie, originated in a French translation of Ephraim Chambers’s Cyclopaedia, begun in 1743 and finished in 1745 by John Mills, an Englishman resident in France, assisted by Gottfried Sellius, a very learned native of Danzig, who, after being a professor at Halle and Göttingen, and residing in Holland, had settled in Paris. They applied to Lebreton, the king’s printer, to publish the work, to fulfil the formalities required by French law, with which, as foreigners, they were not acquainted, and to solicit a royal privilege. This he obtained, but in his own name alone. Mills complained so loudly and bitterly of this deception that Lebreton had to acknowledge formally that the privilege belonged en toute propriété to John Mills. But, as he again took care not to acquaint Mills with the necessary legal formalities, this title soon became invalid. Mills then agreed to grant him part of his privilege, and in May 1745 the work was announced as Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire universel des arts et des sciences, folio, four volumes of 250 to 260 sheets each, with a fifth of at least 120 plates, and a vocabulary or list of articles in French, Latin, German, Italian and Spanish, with other lists for each language explained in French, so that foreigners might easily find any article wanted. It was to be published by subscription at 135 livres, but for large paper copies 200 livres, the first volume to be delivered in June 1746, and the two last at the end of 1748. The subscription list, which was considerable, closed on the 31st of December 1745. Mills demanded an account, which Lebreton, who had again omitted certain formalities, insultingly refused. Mills brought an action against him, but before it was decided Lebreton procured the revocation of the privilege as informal, and obtained another for himself dated the 21st of January 1746. Thus, for unwittingly contravening regulations with which his unscrupulous publisher ought to have made him acquainted, Mills was despoiled of the work he had both planned and executed, and had to return to England. Jean Paul de Gua de Malves, professor of philosophy in the college of France (born at Carcassonne in 1713, died on the 15th of June 1785), was then engaged as editor merely to correct errors and add new discoveries. But he proposed a thorough revision, and obtained the assistance of many learned men and artists, among whom Desessarts names Louis, Condillac, d’Alembert and Diderot. But the publishers did not think his reputation high enough to ensure success, withheld their confidence, and often opposed his plans as too expensive. Tired at last of disputes, and too easily offended, de Gua resigned the editorship. The publishers, who had already made heavy advances, offered it to Diderot, who was probably recommended to them by his very well received Dictionnaire universel de medicine, Paris, 1746–1748, fol. 6 vols., published by Briasson, David and Durand, with notes and additions by Julien Busson, doctor regent of the faculty of medicine of Paris. It was a translation, made with the assistance of Eidous and Toussaint, of the celebrated work of Dr Robert James, inventor of the fever powders, A Medicinal Dictionary, London, 1743–1745, fol. 3 vols., 3275 pages and 98 plates, comprising a history of drugs, with chemistry, botany and natural history so far as they relate to medicine, and with an historical preface of 99 pages (in the translation 136). The proposed work was to have been similar in character. De Gua’s papers were handed over to Diderot in great confusion. He soon persuaded the publishers to undertake a far more original and comprehensive work. His friend d’Alembert undertook to edit the mathematics. Other subjects were allotted to 21 contributors, each of whom received the articles on this subject in Mills’ translation to serve as a basis for his work. But they were in most cases so badly composed and translated, so full of errors and omissions, that they were not used. The contributions were to be finished in three months, but none was ready in time, except Music by Rousseau, which he admits was hastily and badly done. Diderot was imprisoned at Vincennes, on the 29th of July 1749, for his Lettre sur les aveugles. He was closely confined for 28 days, and was then for three months and ten days a prisoner on parole in the castle. This did not stop the printing, though it caused delay. The prospectus by Diderot appeared in November 1750. The work was to form 8 vols. fol., with at least 600 plates. The first volume was published in July 1751, and delivered to the subscribers in August. The second appeared in January 1752. An arrêt of the council, 9th of February, suppressed both volumes as injurious to the king’s authority and to religion. Malesherbes, director-general of the Librairie, stopped the issue of volume ii., 9th of February, and on the 21st went with a lettre de cachet to Lebreton’s to seize the plates and the MSS., but did not find, says Barbier, even those of volume iii., as they had been taken to his own house by Diderot and one of the publishers. The Jesuits tried to continue the work, but in vain. It was less easy, says Grimm, than to ruin philosophers. The Dictionnaire de Trévoux pronounced the completion of the Encyclopédie impossible, and the project ridiculous (5th edition, 1752, iii, 750). The government had to request the editors to resume the work as one honourable to the nation. The marquis d’Argenson writes, 7th of May 1752, that Mme de Pompadour had been urging them to proceed, and at the end of June he reports them as again at work. Volume iii., rather improved by the delay, appeared in October 1753; and volume vii., completing G, in November 1757. The clamours against the work soon recommenced. D’ Alembert retired in January 1758, weary of sermons, satires and intolerant and absurd censors. The parlement of Paris, by an arrêt, 23rd of January 1759, stopped the sale and distribution of the Encyclopédie, Helvetius’s De l’Esprit, and six other books; and by an arrêt, 6th February, ordered them all to be burnt, but referred the Encyclopédie for examination to a commission of nine. An arrêt du conseil, 7th of March, revoked the privilege of 1746, and stopped the printing. Volume viii. was then in the press. Malesherbes warned Diderot that he would have his papers seized next day; and when Diderot said he could not make a selection, or find a place of safety at such short notice, Malesherbes said, “Send them to me, they will not look for them there.” This, according to Mme de Vandeul, Diderot’s daughter, was done with perfect success. In the article Pardonner Diderot refers to these persecutions, and says, “In the space of some months we have seen our honour, fortune, liberty and life imperilled.” Malesherbes, Choiseul and Mme de Pompadour protected the work; Diderot obtained private permission to go on printing, but with a strict charge not to publish any part until the whole was finished. The Jesuits were condemned by the parlement of Paris in 1762, and by the king in November 1764. Volume i. of plates appeared in 1762, and volumes viii. to xvii., ten volumes of text, 9408 pages, completing the work, with the 4th volume of plates in 1765, when there were 4250 subscribers. The work circulated freely in the provinces and in foreign countries, and was secretly distributed in Paris and Versailles. The general assembly of the clergy, on the 20th of June 1765, approved articles in which it was condemned, and on the 27th of September adopted a mémoire to be presented to the king. They were forbidden to publish their acts which favoured the Jesuits, but Lebreton was required to give a list of his subscribers, and was put into the Bastille for eight days in 1766. A royal order was sent to the subscribers to deliver their copies to the lieutenant of police. Voltaire in 1774 relates that, at a petit souper of the king at Trianon, there was a debate on the composition of gunpowder. Mme de Pompadour said she did not know how her rouge or her silk stockings were made. The duc de la Vallière regretted that the king had confiscated their encyclopaedias, which could decide everything. The king said he had been told that the work was most dangerous, but as he wished to judge for himself, he sent for a copy. Three servants with difficulty brought in the 21 volumes. The company found everything they looked for, and the king allowed the confiscated copies to be returned. Mme de Pompadour died on the 15th of April 1764. Lebreton had half of the property in the work, and Durand, David and Briasson had the rest. Lebreton, who had the largest printing office in Paris, employed 50 workmen in printing the last ten volumes. He had the articles set in type exactly as the authors sent them in, and when Diderot had corrected the last proof of each sheet, he and his foreman, hastily, secretly and by night, unknown to his partners in the work, cut out whatever seemed to them daring, or likely to give offence, mutilated most of the best articles without any regard to the consecutiveness of what was left, and burnt the manuscript as they proceeded. The printing of the work was nearly finished when Diderot, having to consult one of his great philosophical articles in the letter S, found it entirely mutilated. He was confounded, says Grimm, at discovering the atrocity of the printer; all the best articles were in the same confusion. This discovery put him into a state of frenzy and despair from rage and grief. His daughter never heard him speak coolly on the subject, and after twenty years it still made him angry. He believed that every one knew as well as he did what was wanting in each article, but in fact the mutilation was not perceived even by the authors, and for many years was known to few persons. Diderot at first refused to correct the remaining proofs, or to do more than write the explanations of the plates. He required, according to Mme de Vandeul, that a copy, now at St Petersburg with his library, should be printed with columns in which all was restored. The mutilations began as far back as the article Intendant. But how far, says Rosenkranz, this murderous, incredible and infamous operation was carried cannot now be exactly ascertained. Diderot’s articles, not including those on arts and trades, were reprinted in Naigeon’s edition (Paris, 1821, 8vo, 22 vols.). They fill 4132 pages, and number 1139, of which 601 were written for the last ten volumes. They are on very many subjects, but principally on grammar, history, morality, philosophy, literature and metaphysics. As a contributor, his special department of the work was philosophy, and arts and trades. He passed whole days in workshops, and began by examining a machine carefully, then he had it taken to pieces and put together again, then he watched it at work, and lastly worked it himself. He thus learned to use such complicated machines as the stocking and cut velvet looms. He at first received 1200 livres a year as editor, but afterwards 2500 livres a volume, besides a final sum of 20,000 livres. Although after his engagement he did not suffer from poverty as he had done before, he was obliged to sell his library in order to provide for his daughter. De Jaucourt spared neither time, trouble nor expense in perfecting the work, for which he received nothing, and he employed several secretaries at it for ten years. To pay them he had to sell his house in Paris, which Lebreton bought with the profits derived from De Jaucourt’s work. All the publishers made large fortunes; their expenses amounted to 1,158,000 livres and their profits to 2,162,000. D’Alembert’s “Discours Preliminaire,” 45 pages, written in 1750, prefixed to the first volume, and delivered before the French Academy on his reception on the 19th of December 1754, consists of a systematic arrangement of the various branches of knowledge, and an account of their progress since their revival. His system, chiefly taken from Bacon, divides them into three classes, under memory, reason and imagination. Arts and trades are placed under natural history, superstition and magic under science de Dieu, and orthography and heraldry under logic. The literary world is divided into three corresponding classes—érudits, philosophes and beaux esprits. As in Ephraim Chambers’s Cyclopaedia, history and biography were excluded, except incidentally; thus Aristotle’s life is given in the article Aristotelisme. The science to which an article belongs is generally named at the beginning of it, references are given to other articles, and the authors’ names are marked by initials, of which lists are given in the earlier volumes, but sometimes their names are subscribed in full. Articles by Diderot have no mark, and those inserted by him as editor have an asterisk prefixed. Among the contributors were Voltaire, Euler, Marmontel, Montesquieu, D’Anville, D’Holbach and Turgot, the leader of the new school of economists which made its first appearance in the pages of the Encyclopédie. Louis wrote the surgery, Daubenton natural history, Eidous heraldry and art, Toussaint jurisprudence, and Condamine articles on South America.
No encyclopaedia perhaps has been of such political importance, or has occupied so conspicuous a place in the civil and literary history of its century. It sought not only to give information, but to guide opinion. It was, as Rosenkranz says (Diderot, i. 157), theistic and heretical. It was opposed to the church, then all-powerful in France, and it treated dogma historically. It was, as Desnoiresterres says (Voltaire, v. 164), a war machine; as it progressed, its attacks both on the church and the still more despotic government, as well as on Christianity itself, became bolder and more undisguised, and it was met by opposition and persecution unparalleled in the history of encyclopaedias. Its execution is very unequal, and its articles of very different value. It was not constructed on a regular plan, or subjected to sufficient supervision; articles were sent in by the contributors, and not seen by the editors until they were in type. In each subject there are some excellent articles, but others are very inferior or altogether omitted, and references are often given to articles which do not exist. Thus marine is said to be more than three-fourths deficient; and in geography errors and omissions abound—even capitals and sovereign states are overlooked, while villages are given as towns, and towns are described which never existed. The style is too generally loose, digressive and inexact; dates are seldom given; and discursiveness, verbosity and dogmatism are frequent faults. Voltaire was constantly demanding truth, brevity and method, and said it was built half of marble and half of wood. D’Alembert compared it to a harlequin’s coat, in which there is some good stuff but too many rags. Diderot was dissatisfied with it as a whole; much of it was compiled in haste; and carelessly written articles and incompetent contributors were admitted for want of money to pay good writers. Zedler’s Universal Lexicon is on the whole much more useful for reference than its far more brilliant successor. The permanent value of encyclopaedias depends on the proportion of exact and precise facts they contain and on their systematic regularity.
The first edition of the Encyclopédie, in 17 vols. folio, 16,288 pages, was imitated by a counterfeit edition printed at Geneva as the volumes appeared in Paris. Eleven folio volumes of plates were published at Paris (1762 to 1772), containing 2888 plates and 923 pages of explanation, &c. A supplement was printed at Amsterdam and Paris (1776–1777), fol. 5 vols., 3874 pages, with 224 plates. History was introduced at the wish of the public, but only “the general features which mark epochs in the annals of the world.” The astronomy was by Delalande, mathematics by Condorcet, tables by Bernouilli, natural history by Adanson, anatomy and physiology by Haller. Daubenton, Condamine, Marmontel and other old contributors wrote many articles, and several were taken from foreign editions. A very full and elaborate index of the articles and subjects of the 33 volumes was printed at Amsterdam in 1780, fol. 2 vols. 1852 pages. It was made by Pierre Mouchon, who was born at Geneva on the 30th of July 1735, consecrated minister on the 18th of August 1758, pastor of the French church at Basel 1766, elected a pastor in Geneva on the 6th of March 1788, principal of the college there 22nd of April 1791, died on the 20th of August 1797. This Table analytique, which took him five years to make, was undertaken for the publishers Cramer and De Tournes, who gave him 800 louis for it. Though very exact and full, he designedly omits the attacks on Christianity. This index was rendered more useful and indispensable by the very diffuse and digressive style of the work, and by the vast number of its articles. A complete copy of the first edition of the Encyclopédie consists of 35 vols. fol., printed 1751–1780, containing 23,135 pages and 3132 plates. It was written by about 160 contributors. About 1761 Panckoucke and other publishers in Paris proposed a new and revised edition, and bought the plates for 250,000 livres. But, as Diderot indignantly refused to edit what he considered a fraud on the subscribers to the as yet unfinished work, they began simply to reprint the work, promising supplementary volumes. When three volumes were printed the whole was seized in 1770 by the government at the complaint of the clergy, and was lodged in the Bastille. The plan of a second French edition was laid aside then, to be revived twenty years later in a very different form. Foreign editions of the Encyclopédie are numerous, and it is difficult to enumerate them correctly. One, with notes by Ottavio Diodati, Dr Sebastiano Paoli and Carlo Giuliani, appeared at Lucca (1758–1771), fol. 17 vols. of text and 10 of plates. Though it was very much expurgated, all engaged in it were excommunicated by the pope in 1759. An attempt made at Siena to publish an Italian translation failed. An addition by the abbé Serafini and Dr Gonnella (Livourne, 1770), &c., fol. 33 vols., returned a profit of 60,000 piastres, and was protected by Leopold II., who secured the pope’s silence. Other editions are Genève, Cramer (1772–1776), a facsimile reprint. Genève, Pellet (1777–1779), 4to, 36 vols. of text and 3 of plates, with 6 vols. of Mouchon’s index (Lyon, 1780), 4to; Genève et Neufchâtel, Pellet (1778–1779), 4to, 36 vols. of text and 3 of plates; Lausanne (1778–1781), 36 vols. 4to, or 72 octavo, of text and 3 of plates (1779–1780); Lausanne et Bern, chez les Sociétés Typographiques (1780–1782), 36 vols. 8vo of text and 3 vols. 4to of plates (1782). These four editions have the supplement incorporated. Fortuné Barthelemy de Felice, an Italian monk, born at Rome on the 24th of August 1723, who had been professor at Rome and Naples, and had become a Protestant, printed a very incorrect though successful edition (Yverdun, 1770–1780) 4to, 42 vols. of text, 5 of supplement and 10 of plates. It professed to be a new work, standing in the same relationship to the Encyclopédie as that did to Chambers’s, which is far from being the case. Sir Joseph Ayloffe issued proposals, 14th December 1751, for an English translation of the Encyclopédie, to be finished by Christmas 1756, in 10 vols. 4to, with at least 600 plates. No. 1 appeared in January 1752, but met with little success. Several selections of articles and extracts have been published under the title of L’Esprit de l’Encyclopédie. The last was by Hennequin (Paris, 1822–1823), 8vo, 15 vols. An English selection is Select Essays from the Encyclopedy (London, 1773), 8vo. The articles of most of the principal contributors have been reprinted in the editions of their respective works. Voltaire wrote 8 vols. 8vo of a kind of fragmentary supplement, Questions sur l’Encyclopédie, frequently printed, and usually included in editions of his works, together with his contributions to the Encyclopédie and his Dictionnaire philosophique. Several special dictionaries have been formed from the Encyclopédie, as the Dictionnaire portatif des arts et métiers (Paris, 1766), 8vo, 2 vols. about 1300 pages, by Philippe Macquer, brother of the author of the Dict. de chimie. An enlarged edition by the abbé Jaubert (Paris, 1773), 5 vols. 8vo, 3017 pages, was much valued and often reprinted. The books attacking and defending the Encyclopédie are very many. No original work of the 18th century, says Lanfrey, has been more depreciated, ridiculed and calumniated. It has been called chaos, nothingness, the Tower of Babel, a work of disorder and destruction, the gospel of Satan and even the ruins of Palmyra.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, “by a society of gentlemen in Scotland, printed in Edinburgh for A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar, and sold by Colin Macfarquhar at his printing office in Nicolson Street,” was completed in 1771 in 3 volumes 4to, containing 2670 pages, and 160 copperplates engraved by Andrew Bell. It was published in numbers, of which the two first were issued in December 1768, “price 6d. each, or 8d on a finer paper,” and was to be completed in 100 weekly numbers. It was compiled, as the title-page says, on a new plan. The different sciences and arts were “digested into distinct treatises or systems,” of which there are 45 with cross headings, that is, titles printed across the page, and about 30 other articles more than three pages long. The longest are “Anatomy,” 166 pages, and “Surgery,” 238 pages. “The various technical terms, &c., are explained as they occur in the order of the alphabet.” “Instead of dismembering the sciences, by attempting to treat them intelligibly under a multitude of technical terms, they have digested the principles of every science in the form of systems or distinct treatises, and explained the terms as they occur in the order of the alphabet, with references to the sciences to which they belong.” This plan, as the compilers say, differs from that of all the previous dictionaries of arts and sciences. Its merit and novelty consist in the combination of De Coetlogon’s plan with that in common use,—on the one hand keeping important subjects together, and on the other facilitating reference by numerous separate articles. It is doubtful to whom the credit of this plan is due. The editor, William Smellie, a printer (born in 1740, died on the 24th of June 1795), afterwards secretary and superintendent of natural history to the Society of Scottish Antiquaries, is said by his biographer to have devised the plan and written or compiled all the chief articles; and he prints, but without date, part of a letter written and signed by Andrew Bell by which he was engaged in the work:—“Sir, As we are engaged in publishing a dictionary of the arts and sciences, and as you have informed us that there are fifteen capital sciences which you will undertake for and write up the subdivisions and detached parts of these conform to your plan, and likewise to prepare the whole work for the press, &c., &c., we hereby agree to allow you £200 for your trouble, &c.” Prof. Macvey Napier says that Smellie “was more likely to have suggested that great improvement than any of his known coadjutors.” Archibald Constable, who was interested in the work from 1788, and was afterwards intimately acquainted with Bell, says Colin Macfarquhar was the actual projector of the Encyclopaedia, and the editor of the two first editions, while Smellie was merely “a contributor for hire” (Memoirs, ii. 311). Dr Gleig, in his preface to the third edition, says: “The idea had been conceived by him (Colin Macfarquhar) and his friend Mr Andrew Bell, engraver. By whom these gentlemen were assisted in digesting the plan which attracted to that work so much public attention, or whether they had any assistance, are questions in which our readers cannot be interested.” Macfarquhar, according to Constable, was a person of excellent taste and very general knowledge, though at starting he had little or no capital, and was obliged to associate Bell, then the principal engraver in Edinburgh, as a partner in his undertaking.
The second edition was begun in 1776, and was published in numbers, of which the first was issued on the 21st of June 1777, and the last, No. 181, on the 18th of September 1784, forming 10 vols. 4to, dated 1778 to 1783, and containing 8595 pages and 340 plates. The pagination is continuous, ending with page 9200, but 295 pages are inserted in various places, and page 7099 is followed by 8000. The number and length of the articles were much increased, 72 have cross headings, and more than 150 others may be classed as long articles. At the end is an appendix (“Abatement” to “Wood”) of 200 pages, containing, under the heading Botanical Table, a list of the 931 genera included in the 58 natural orders of Linnaeus, and followed by a list of 526 books, said to have been the principal authorities used. All the maps are placed together under the article “Geography” (195 pages). Most of the long articles have numbered marginal titles; “Scotland,” 84 pages, has 837. “Medicine,” 309 pages, and “Pharmacy” have each an index. The plan of the work was enlarged by the addition of history and biography, which encyclopaedias in general had long omitted. “From the time of the second edition of this work, every cyclopaedia of note, in England and elsewhere, has been a cyclopaedia, not solely of arts and sciences, but of the whole wide circle of general learning and miscellaneous information” (Quarterly Review, cxiii. 362). Smellie was applied to by Bell to edit the second edition, and to take a share of one-third in the work; but he refused, because the other persons concerned in it, at the suggestion of “a very distinguished nobleman of very high rank” (said by Professor Napier to have been the duke of Buccleuch), insisted upon the introduction of a system of general biography which he considered inconsistent with the character of a dictionary of arts and sciences. James Tytler, M.A., seems to have been selected as the next most eligible compiler. His father, a man of extensive knowledge, was 53 years minister of Fearn in Forfarshire, and died in 1785. Tytler (outlawed by the High Court of Justiciary, 7th of January 1793, buried at Salem in Massachusetts on the 11th of January 1804, aged fifty-eight) “wrote,” says Watt, “many of the scientific treatises and histories, and almost all the minor articles” (Bibliotheca Brit.).
After about a year’s preparation, the third edition was announced in 1787; the first number was published early in 1788, and the first volume in October 1788. There were to be 300 weekly numbers, price 1s. each, forming 30 parts at 10s. 6d. each, and 15 volumes, with 360 plates. It was completed in 1797 in 18 vols. 4to, containing 14,579 pages and 542 plates. Among the multifarious articles represented in the frontispiece, which was required by the traditional fashion of the period, is a balloon. The maps are, as in subsequent editions, distributed among the articles relating to the respective countries. It was edited by Colin Macfarquhar as far as the article “Mysteries” (by Dr Doig, vol. xii.), when he died, on the 2nd of April 1793, in his forty-eighth year, “worn out,” says Constable, “by fatigue and anxiety of mind.” His children’s trustees and Andrew Bell requested George Gleig of Stirling (consecrated on the 30th of October 1808 assistant and successor to the bishop of Brechin), who had written about twelve articles, to edit the rest of the work; “and for the time, and the limited sum allowed him for the reward of contributors, his part in the work was considered very well done” (Constable, ii. 312). Professor Robison was induced by Gleig to become a contributor. He first revised the article “Optics,” and then wrote a series of articles on natural philosophy, which attracted great attention and were long highly esteemed by scientific men. The sub-editors were James Walker (Primus Scotiae Episcopus 27th of May 1837, died on the 5th of March 1841, aged seventy) until 1795, then James Thomson, succeeded in November 1796 by his brother Thomas, afterwards professor of chemistry at Glasgow, who remained connected with the Encyclopaedia until 1800. According to Kerr (Smellie’s Life, i. 364-365), 10,000 copies were printed, and the profit to the proprietors was £42,000, besides the payments for their respective work in the conduct of the publication as tradesmen,—Bell as engraver of all the plates, and Macfarquhar as sole printer. According to Constable (Memoirs, ii. 312), the impression was begun at 5000 copies, and concluded with a sale of 13,000. James Hunter, “an active bookseller of no character,” who had a shop in Middle Row, Holborn, sold the book to the trade, and on his failure Thomson Bonar, a wine merchant, who had married Bell’s daughter, became the seller of the book. He quarrelled with his father-in-law, who would not see him for ten years before his death in 1809. When the edition was completed, the copyright and remaining books were sold in order to wind up the concern, and “the whole was purchased by Bell, who gave £13 a copy, sold all the complete copies to the trade, printed up the odd volumes, and thus kept the work in the market for several years” (Constable, ii. 312)
The supplement of the third edition, printed for Thomson Bonar, and edited by Gleig, was published in 1801 in 2 vols. 4to, containing 1624 pages and 50 copperplates engraved by D. Lizars. In the dedication to the king, dated Stirling, 10th December 1800, Dr Gleig says: “The French Encyclopédie had been accused, and justly accused, of having disseminated far and wide the seeds of anarchy and atheism. If the Encyclopaedia Britannica shall in any degree counteract the tendency of that pestiferous work, even these two volumes will not be wholly unworthy of your Majesty’s attention.” Professor Robison added 19 articles to the series he had begun when the third edition was so far advanced. Professor Playfair assisted in “Mathematics.” Dr Thomas Thomson wrote “Chemistry,” “Mineralogy” and other articles, in which the use of symbols was for the first time introduced into chemistry; and these articles formed the first outline of his System of Chemistry, published at Edinburgh in 1802, 8vo, 4 vols.; the sixth edition, 1821.
The fourth edition, printed for Andrew Bell, was begun in 1800 or 1801, and finished in 1810 in 20 vols. 4to, containing 16,033 pages, with 581 plates engraved by Bell. The dedication to the king, signed Andrew Bell, is dated Lauristoun, Edinburgh, 1809. The preface is that of the third edition with the necessary alterations and additions in the latter part. No articles were reprinted from the supplement, as Bell had not the copyright. Professor Wallace’s articles on mathematics were much valued, and raised the scientific character of the work. Dr Thomas Thomson declined the editorship, and recommended Dr James Millar, afterwards editor of the Encyclopaedia Edinensis (died on the 13th of July 1827). He was fond of natural history and a good chemist, but, according to Constable, slow and dilatory and not well qualified. Andrew Bell died on the 10th of June 1809, aged eighty-three, “leaving,” says Constable, “two sets of trustees, one literary to make the money, the other legal to lay it out after it was made.” The edition began with 1250 copies and concluded at 4000, of which two-thirds passed through the hands of Constable’s firm. Early in 1804 Andrew Bell had offered Constable and his partner Hunter the copyright of the work, printing materials, &c., and all that was then printed of the fourth edition, for £20,000. This offer was in agitation in March 1804, when the two partners were in London. On the 5th of May 1804, after Lord Jeffrey’s arrival in Edinburgh, as he relates to Francis Horner, they entrusted him with a design, on which he found that most of his friends had embarked with great eagerness, “for publishing an entire new encyclopaedia upon an improved plan. Stewart, I understand, is to lend his name, and to write the preliminary discourse, besides other articles. Playfair is to superintend the mathematical department, and Robison the natural philosophy. Thomas Thomson is extremely zealous in the cause. W. Scott has embraced it with great affection. . . . The authors are to be paid at least as well as reviewers, and are to retain the copyright of their articles for separate publication if they think proper” (Cockburn, Life of Lord Jeffrey, 1852, ii. 90). It was then, perhaps, that Constable gave £100 to Bonar for the copyright of the supplement.
The fifth edition was begun immediately after the fourth as a mere reprint. “The management of the edition, or rather mismanagement, went on under the lawyer trustees for several years, and at last the whole property was again brought to the market by public sale. There were about 1800 copies printed of the five first volumes, which formed one lot, the copyright formed another lot, and so on. The whole was purchased by myself and in my name for between £13,000 and £14,000, and it was said by the wise booksellers of Edinburgh and others that I had completely ruined myself and all connected with me by a purchase to such an enormous amount; this was early in 1812” (Constable, ii. 314). Bonar, who lived next door to the printing office, thought he could conduct the book, and had resolved on the purchase. Having a good deal of money, he seemed to Constable a formidable rival, whose alliance was to be secured. After “sundry interviews” it was agreed that Constable should buy the copyright in his own name, and that Bonar should have one-third, and also one-third of the copyright of the supplement, for which he gave £200. Dr James Millar corrected and revised the last 15 volumes. The preface is dated the 1st of December 1814. The printing was superintended by Bonar, who died on the 26th of July 1814. His trustees were repaid his advances on the work, about £6000, and the copyright was valued at £11,000, of which they received one-third, Constable adding £500, as the book had been so extremely successful. It was published in 20 vols., 16,017 pages, 582 plates, price £36, and dated 1817.
Soon after the purchase of the copyright, Constable began to prepare for the publication of a supplement, to be of four or, at the very utmost, five volumes. “The first article arranged for was one on ‘Chemistry’ by Sir Humphry Davy, but he went abroad [in October 1813] and I released him from his engagement, and employed Mr Brande; the second article was Mr Stewart’s Dissertation, for which I agreed to pay him £1000, leaving the extent of it to himself, but with this understanding, that it was not to be under ten sheets, and might extend to twenty” (Constable, ii. 318). Dugald Stewart, in a letter to Constable, the 15th of November 1812, though he declines to engage to execute any of his own suggestions, recommends that four discourses should “stand in front,” forming “a general map of the various departments of human knowledge,” similar to “the excellent discourse prefixed by D’Alembert to the French Encyclopédie,” together with historical sketches of the progress since Bacon’s time of modern discoveries in metaphysical, moral and political philosophy, in mathematics and physics, in chemistry, and in zoology, botany and mineralogy. He would only promise to undertake the general map and the first historical sketch, if his health and other engagements permitted, after the second volume of his Philosophy of the Human Mind (published in 1813) had gone to press. For the second he recommended Playfair, for chemistry Sir Humphry Davy. He received £1000 for the first part of his dissertation (166 pages), and £700 for the second (257 pages), the right of publication being limited to the Supplement and Encyclopaedia. Constable next contracted with Professor Playfair for a dissertation “to be equal in length or not to Mr Stewart’s, for £250; but a short time afterwards I felt that to pay one eminent individual £1000 because he would not take less would be quite unfair, and I wrote to the worthy Professor that I had fixed his payment at £500.” Constable gave him £500 for the first part (127 pages), and would have given as much for the second (90 pages) if it had been as long. His next object was to find out the greatest defects in the book, and he gave Professor Leslie £200 and Graham Dalyell £100 for looking over it. He then wrote out a prospectus and submitted it in print to Stewart, “but the cautious philosopher referred” him to Playfair, who “returned it next day very greatly improved.” For this Constable sent him six dozen of very fine old sherry, only feeling regret that he had nothing better to offer. He at first intended to have two editors, “one for the strictly literary and the other for the scientific department.” He applied to Dr Thomas Brown, who “preferred writing trash of poetry to useful and lucrative employment.” At last he fixed on Mr Macvey Napier (born 1777), whom he had known from 1798, and who “had been a hard student, and at college laid a good foundation for his future career, though more perhaps in general information than in what would be, strictly speaking, called scholarship; this, however, does not fit him the less for his present task.” Constable, in a letter dated the 11th of June 1813, offered him £300 before the first part went to press, £150 on the completion at press of each of the eight half volumes, £500 if the work was reprinted or extended beyond 7000 copies and £200 for incidental expenses. “In this way the composition of the four volumes, including the introductory dissertations, will amount to considerably more than £9000.” In a postscript the certain payment is characteristically increased to £1575, the contingent to £735, and the allowance for incidental expenses to £300 (Constable, ii. 326). Napier went to London, and obtained the co-operation of many literary men. The supplement was published in half-volume parts from December 1816 to April 1824. It formed six volumes 4to, containing 4933 pages, 125 plates, 9 maps, three dissertations and 669 articles, of which a list is given at the end. The first dissertation, on the “progress of metaphysical, ethical and political philosophy,” was by Stewart, who completed his plan only in respect to metaphysics. He had thought it would be easy to adapt the intellectual map or general survey of human knowledge, sketched by Bacon and improved by D’Alembert, to the advanced state of the sciences, while its unrivalled authority would have softened criticism. But on closer examination he found the logical views on which this systematic arrangement was based essentially erroneous; and, doubting whether the time had come for a successful repetition of this bold experiment, he forebore to substitute a new scheme of his own. Sir James Mackintosh characterized this discourse as “the most splendid of Mr. Stewart’s works, a composition which no other living writer of English prose has equalled” (Edinburgh Review, xxvii. 191, September 1816). The second dissertation, “On the progress of mathematics and physics,” was by Playfair, who died 19th July 1819, when he had only finished the period of Newton and Leibnitz. The third, by Professor Brande, “On the progress of chemistry from the early middle ages to 1800,” was the only one completed. These historical dissertations were admirable and delightful compositions, and important and interesting additions to the Encyclopaedia; but it is difficult to see why they should form a separate department distinct from the general alphabet. The preface, dated March 1824, begins with an account of the more important previous encyclopaedias, relates the history of this to the sixth edition, describes the preparation for the supplement and gives an “outline of the contents,” and mentions under each great division of knowledge the principal articles and their authors’ names, often with remarks on the characters of both. Among the distinguished contributors were Leslie, Playfair, Ivory, Sir John Barrow, Tredgold, Jeffrey, John Bird Sumner, Blanco White, Hamilton Smith and Hazlitt. Sir Walter Scott, to gratify his generous friend Constable, laid aside Waverley, which he was completing for publication, and in April and May 1814 wrote “Chivalry.” He also wrote “Drama” in November 1818, and “Romance” in the summer of 1823. As it seemed to the editor that encyclopaedias had previously attended little to political philosophy, he wrote “Balance of Power,” and procured from James Mill “Banks for Savings,” “Education,” “Law of Nations,” “Liberty of the Press,” and other articles, which, reprinted cheaply, had a wide circulation. M’Culloch wrote “Corn Laws,” “Interest,” “Money,” “Political Economy,” &c. Mr Ricardo wrote “Commerce” and “Funding System,” and Professor Malthus, in his article “Population,” gave a comprehensive summary of the facts and reasonings on which his theory rested. In the article “Egypt” Dr Thomas Young “first gave to the public an extended view of the results of his successful interpretation of the hieroglyphic characters on the stone of Rosetta,” with a vocabulary of 221 words in English, Coptic, Hieroglyphic and Enchorial, engraved on four plates. There were about 160 biographies, chiefly of persons who had died within the preceding 30 years. Constable “wished short biographical notices of the first founders of this great work, but they were, in the opinion of my editor, too insignificant to entitle them to the rank which such separate notice, it was supposed, would have given them as literary men, although his own consequence in the world had its origin in their exertions” (Memoirs, ii. 326). It is to be regretted that this wish was not carried out, as was done in the latter volumes of Zedler. Arago wrote “Double Refraction” and “Polarization of Light,” a note to which mentions his name as author. Playfair wrote “Aepinus,” and “Physical Astronomy.” Biot wrote “Electricity” and “Pendulum.” He “gave his assistance with alacrity,” though his articles had to be translated. Signatures, on the plan of the Encyclopédie, were annexed to each article, the list forming a triple alphabet, A to XXX, with the full names of the 72 contributors arranged apparently in the order of their first occurrence. At the end of vol. vi. are Addenda and Corrigenda, including “Interpolation,” by Leslie, and “Polarization of Light,” by Arago.
The sixth edition, “revised, corrected and improved,” appeared in half-volume parts, price 16s. in boards, vol. xx. part ii. completing the work in May 1823. Constable, thinking it not wise to reprint so large a book year after year without correction, in 1820 selected Mr Charles Maclaren (1782–1866), as editor. “His attention was chiefly directed to the historical and geographical articles. He was to keep the press going, and have the whole completed in three years.” He wrote “America,” “Greece,” “Troy,” &c. Many of the large articles as “Agriculture,” “Chemistry,” “Conchology,” were new or nearly so; and references were given to the supplement. A new edition in 25 vols. was contemplated, not to be announced till a certain time after the supplement was finished; but Constable’s house stopped payment on the 19th of January 1826, and his copyrights were sold by auction. Those of the Encyclopaedia were bought by contract, on the 16th of July 1828, for £6150, by Thomas Allan, proprietor of the Caledonian Mercury, Adam Black, Abram Thomson, bookbinder, and Alexander Wight, banker, who, with the trustee of Constable’s estate, had previously begun the seventh edition. Not many years later Mr Black purchased all the shares and became sole proprietor.
The seventh edition, 21 vols. 4to (with an index of 187 pages, compiled by Robert Cox), containing 17,101 pages and 506 plates, edited by Macvey Napier, assisted by James Browne, LL.D., was begun in 1827, and published from March 1830 to January 1842. It was reset throughout and stereotyped. Mathematical diagrams were printed in the text from woodcuts. The first half of the preface was nearly that of the supplement. The list of signatures, containing 167 names, consists of four alphabets with additions, and differs altogether from that in the supplement: many names are omitted, the order is changed and 103 are added. A list follows of over 300 articles, without signatures, by 87 writers. The dissertations—1st, Stewart’s, 289 pages; 2nd, “Ethics” (136 pages), by Sir James Mackintosh, whose death prevented the addition of “Political Philosophy”; 3rd, Playfair’s, 139 pages; 4th, its continuation by Sir John Leslie, 100 pages—and their index of 30 pages, fill vol. i. As they did not include Greek philosophy, “Aristotle,” “Plato” and “Socrates” were supplied by Dr Hampden, afterwards bishop of Hereford. Among the numerous contributors of eminence, mention may be made of Sir David Brewster, Prof. Phillips, Prof. Spalding, John Hill Burton, Thomas De Quincey, Patrick Fraser Tytler, Capt. Basil Hall, Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, Antonio Panizzi, John Scott Russell and Robert Stephenson. Zoology was divided into 11 chief articles, “Mammalia,” “Ornithology,” “Reptilia,” “Ichthyology,” “Mollusca,” “Crustacea,” “Arachnides,” “Entomology,” “Helminthology,” “Zoophytes,” and “Animalcule”—all by James Wilson.
The eighth edition, 1853–1860, 4to, 21 vols. (and index of 239 pages, 1861), containing 17,957 pages and 402 plates, with many woodcuts, was edited by Dr Thomas Stewart Traill, professor of medical jurisprudence in Edinburgh University. The dissertations were reprinted, with one on the “Rise, Progress and Corruptions of Christianity” (97 pages), by Archbishop Whately, and a continuation of Leslie’s to 1850, by Professor James David Forbes, 198 pages, the work of nearly three years, called by himself his “magnum opus” (Life, pp. 361, 366). Lord Macaulay, Charles Kingsley, Isaac Taylor, Hepworth Dixon, Robert Chambers, Rev. Charles Merivale, Rev. F. W. Farrar, Sir John Richardson, Dr Scoresby, Dr Hooker, Henry Austin Layard, Edw. B. Eastwick, John Crawfurd, Augustus Petermann, Baron Bunsen, Sir John Herschel, Dr Lankester, Professors Owen, Rankine, William Thomson, Aytoun, Blackie, Daniel Wilson and Jukes, were some of the many eminent new contributors found among the 344 authors, of whom an alphabetical list is given, with a key to the signatures. In the preface a list of 279 articles by 189 writers, classed under 15 heads, is given. This edition was not wholly reset like the seventh, but many long articles were retained almost or entirely intact.
The publication of the ninth edition (A. & C. Black) was commenced in January 1875, under the editorship of Thomas Spencer Baynes until 1880, and subsequently of W. Robertson Smith, and completed in 1889, 24 vols., with index. This great edition retained a certain amount of the valuable material in the eighth, but was substantially a new work; and it was universally acknowledged to stand in the forefront of the scholarship of its time. Its contributors included the most distinguished men of letters and of science. In 1898 a reprint, sold at about half the original price, and on the plan of payment by instalments, was issued by The Times of London; and in 1902, under the joint editorship of Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, President Arthur T. Hadley of Yale University, and Hugh Chisholm, eleven supplementary volumes were published, forming, with the 24 vols. of the ninth edition, a tenth edition of 35 volumes. These included a volume of maps, and an elaborate index (vol. 35) to the whole edition, comprising some 600,000 entries. In May 1903 a start was made with the preparation of the 11th edition, under the general editorship of Hugh Chisholm, with W. Alison Phillips as chief assistant-editor, and a staff of editorial assistants, the whole work of organization being conducted up to December 1909 from The Times office. Arrangements were then made by which the copyright and control of the Encyclopaedia Britannica passed to Cambridge University, for the publication at the University Press in 1910–1911 of the 29 volumes (one being Index) of the 11th edition, a distinctive feature of this issue being the appearance of the whole series of volumes practically at the same time.
A new and enlarged edition of the Encyclopédie arranged as a system of separate dictionaries, and entitled Encyclopédie méthodique ou par ordre de matières, was undertaken by Charles Joseph Panckoucke, a publisher of Paris (born at Lille on the 26th of November 1736, died on the 19th of December 1798). His privilege was dated the 20th of June 1780. The articles belonging to different subjects would readily form distinct dictionaries, although, having been constructed for an alphabetical plan, they seemed unsuited for any system wholly methodical. Two copies of the book and its supplement were cut up into articles, which were sorted into subjects. The division adopted was: 1, mathematics; 2 physics; 3, medicine; 4, anatomy and physiology; 5, surgery; 6, chemistry, metallurgy and pharmacy; 7, agriculture; 8, natural history of animals, in six parts; 9, botany; 10, minerals; 11, physical geography; 12, ancient and modern geography; 13, antiquities; 14, history; 15, theology; 16, philosophy; 17, metaphysics, logic and morality; 18, grammar and literature; 19, law; 20, finance; 21, political economy; 22, commerce; 23, marine; 24, art militaire; 25, beaux arts; 26, arts et métiers—all forming distinct dictionaries entrusted to different editors. The first object of each editor was to exclude all articles belonging to other subjects, and to take care that those of a doubtful nature should not be omitted by all. In some words (such as air, which belonged equally to chemistry, physics and medicine) the methodical arrangement has the unexpected effect of breaking up the single article into several widely separated. Each dictionary was to have an introduction and a classified table of the principal articles. History and its minor parts, as inscriptions, fables, medals, were to be included. Theology, which was neither complete, exact nor orthodox, was to be by the abbé Bergier, confessor to Monsieur. The whole work was to be completed and connected together by a Vocabulaire Universel, 1 vol. 4to, with references to all the places where each word occurred, and a very exact history of the Encyclopédie and its editions by Panckoucke. The prospectus, issued early in 1782, proposed three editions—84 vols. 8vo, 43 vols. 4to with 3 columns to a page, and 53 vols. 4to of about 100 sheets with 2 columns to a page, each edition having 7 vols. 4to of 250 to 300 plates each. The subscription was to be 672 livres from the 15th of March to July 1782, then 751, and 888 after April 1783. It was to be issued in livraisons of 2 vols. each, the first (jurisprudence, vol. i., literature, vol. i.) to appear in July 1782, and the whole to be finished in 1787. The number of subscribers, 4072, was so great that the subscription list of 672 livres was closed on the 30th of April. Twenty-five printing offices were employed, and in November 1782 the 1st livraison (jurisprudence, vol. i., and half vol. each of arts et métiers and histoire naturelle) was issued. A Spanish prospectus was sent out, and obtained 330 Spanish subscribers, with the inquisitor-general at their head. The complaints of the subscribers and his own heavy advances, over 150,000 livres, induced Panckoucke, in November 1788, to appeal to the authors to finish the work. Those en retard made new contracts, giving their word of honour to put their parts to press in 1788, and to continue them without interruption, so that Panckoucke hoped to finish the whole, including the vocabulary (4 or 5 vols.), in 1792. Whole sciences, as architecture, engineering, hunting, police, games, &c., had been overlooked in the prospectus; a new division was made in 44 parts, to contain 51 dictionaries and about 124 vols. Permission was obtained on the 27th of February 1789, to receive subscriptions for the separate dictionaries. Two thousand subscribers were lost by the Revolution. The 50th livraison appeared on the 23rd of July 1792, when all the dictionaries eventually published had been begun except seven—jeux familiers and mathématiques, physics, art oratoire, physical geography, chasses and pêches; and 18 were finished,—mathematics, games, surgery, ancient and modern geography, history, theology, logic, grammar, jurisprudence, finance, political economy, commerce, marine, arts militaires, arts académiques, arts et métiers, encyclopediana. Supplements were added to military art in 1797, and to history in 1807, but not to any of the other 16, though required for most long before 1832. The publication was continued by Henri Agasse, Panckoucke’s son-in-law, from 1794 to 1813, and then by Mme Agasse, his widow, to 1832, when it was completed in 102 livraisons or 337 parts, forming 1661 vols. of text, and 51 parts containing 6439 plates. The letterpress issued with the plates amounts to 5458 pages, making with the text 124,210 pages. To save expense the plates belonging to architecture were not published. Pharmacy (separated from chemistry), minerals, education, ponts et chaussées had been announced but were not published, neither was the Vocabulaire Universel, the key and index to the whole work, so that it is difficult to carry out any research or to find all the articles on any subject. The original parts have been so often subdivided, and have been so added to by other dictionaries, supplements and appendices, that, without going into great detail, an exact account cannot be given of the work, which contains 88 alphabets, with 83 indexes, and 166 introductions, discourses, prefaces, &c. Many dictionaries have a classed index of articles; that of économie politique is very excellent, giving the contents of each article, so that any passage can be found easily. The largest dictionaries are medicine, 13 vols., 10,330 pages; zoology, 7 dictionaries, 13,645 pages, 1206 plates; botany, 12,002 pages, 1000 plates (34 only of cryptogamic plants); geography, 3 dictionaries and 2 atlases, 9090 pages, 193 maps and plates; jurisprudence (with police and municipalities), 10 vols., 7607 pages. Anatomy, 4 vols., 2866 pages, is not a dictionary but a series of systematic treatises. Assemblée Nationale was to be in three parts,—(1) the history of the Revolution, (2) debates, and (3) laws and decrees. Only vol. ii., debates, appeared, 1792, 804 pages, Absens to Aurillac. Ten volumes of a Spanish translation with a vol. of plates were published at Madrid to 1806—viz. historia natural, i. ii.; grammatica, i.; arte militar, i., ii.; geografia, i.-iii.; fabricas, i., ii., plates, vol. i. A French edition was printed at Padua, with the plates, says Peignot, very carefully engraved. Probably no more unmanageable body of dictionaries has ever been published except Migne’s Encyclopédie théologique, Paris, 1844–1875, 4to, 168 vols., 101 dictionaries, 119,059 pages.
No work of reference has been more useful and successful, or more frequently copied, imitated and translated, than that known as the Conversations Lexikon of Brockhaus. It was begun as Conversations Lexikon mit vorzüglicher Rücksicht auf die gegenwärtigen Zeiten, Leipzig, 1796 to 1808, 8vo, 6 vols., 2762 pages, by Dr Gotthelf Renatus Löbel (born on the 1st of April 1767 at Thalwitz near Wurzen in Saxony, died on the 14th of February 1799), who intended to supersede Hübner, and included geography, history, and in part biography, besides mythology, philosophy, natural history, &c. Vols. i.-iv. (A to R) appeared 1796 to 1800, vol. v. in 1806. Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus (q.v.) bought the work with its copyright on the 25th of October 1808, for 1800 thalers from the printer, who seems to have got it in payment of his bill. The editor, Christian Wilhelm Franke, by contract dated the 16th of November, was to finish vol. vi. by the 5th of December, and the already projected supplement, 2 vols., by Michaelmas 1809, for 8 thalers a printed sheet. No penalty was specified, but, says his grandson, Brockhaus was to learn that such contracts, whether under penalty or not, are not kept, for the supplement was finished only in 1811. Brockhaus issued a new impression as Conversations Lexikon oder kurzgefasstes Handwörterbuch, &c, 1809–1811, and on removing to Altenburg in 1811 began himself to edit the 2nd edition (1812–1819, 10 vols.), and, when vol. iv. was published, the 3rd (1814–1819). He carried on both editions together until 1817, when he removed to Leipzig, and began the 4th edition as Allgemeine deutsche Realencyclopädie für die gebildeten Stände. Conversations Lexikon. This title was, in the 14th edition, changed to that of Brockhaus’ Konversations Lexicon. The 5th edition was at once begun, and was finished in eighteen months. Dr Ludwig Hain assisted in editing the 4th and 5th editions until he left Leipzig in April 1820, when Professor F. C. Hasse took his place. The 12,000 copies of the 5th edition being exhausted while vol. x. was at press, a 2nd unaltered impression of 10,000 was required in 1820 and a 3rd of 10,000 in 1822. The 6th edition, 10 vols., was begun in September 1822. Brockhaus died in 1823, and his two eldest sons, Friedrich and Heinrich, who carried on the business for the heirs and became sole possessors in 1829, finished the edition with Hasse’s assistance in September 1823. The 7th edition (1827–1829, 12 vols., 10,489 pages, 13,000 copies, 2nd impression 14,000) was edited by Hasse. The 8th edition (1833–1836, 12 vols., 10,689 pages, 31,000 copies to 1842), begun in the autumn of 1832, ended May 1837, was edited by Dr Karl August Espe (born February 1804, died in the Irrenanstalt at Stötteritz near Leipzig on the 24th of November 1850) with the aid of many learned and distinguished writers. A general index, Universal Register, 242 pages, was added in 1839. The 9th edition (1843–1847, 15 vols., 11,470 pages, over 30,000 copies) was edited by Dr Espe. The 10th edition (1851–1855, 12,564 pages) was also in 15 vols., for convenience in reference, and was edited by Dr August Kurtzel aided by Oskar Pilz. Friedrich Brockhaus had retired in 1849; Dr Heinrich Edward, the elder son of Heinrich, made partner in 1854, assisted in this edition, and Heinrich Rudolf, the younger son, partner since 1863, in the 11th (1864–1868, 15 vols. of 60 sheets, 13,366 pages).
Kurtzel died on the 24th of April 1871, and Pilz was sole editor until March 1872, when Dr Gustav Stockmann joined, who was alone from April until joined by Dr Karl Wippermann in October. Besides the Universal Register of 136 pages and about 50,000 articles, each volume has an index. The supplement, 2 vols, 1764 pages, was begun in February 1871, and finished in April 1873. The 12th edition, begun in 1875, was completed in 1879 in 15 vols., the 13th edition (1882–1887), in 16 vols., and the 14th (1901–1903) in 16 vols. with a supplementary volume in 1904. The Conversations Lexicon is intended, not for scientific use, but to promote general mental improvement by giving the results of research and discovery in a simple and popular form without extended details. The articles, often too brief, are very excellent and trustworthy, especially on German subjects, give references to the best books, and include biographies of living men.
One of the best German encyclopaedias is that of Meyer, Neues Konversations-Lexicon. The first edition, in 37 vols., was published in 1839–1852. The later editions, following closely the arrangement of Brockhaus, are the 4th (1885–1890, 17 vols.), the 5th (1894–1898, 18 vols.), and the 6th (begun in 1902).
The most copious German encyclopaedia is Ersch and Gruber’s Allgemeine Encyklopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste, Leipzig. It was designed and begun in 1813 by Professor Johann Samuel Ersch (born at Gross Glogau on the 23rd of June 1766, chief librarian at Halle, died on the 16th of January 1828) to satisfy the wants of Germans, only in part supplied by foreign works. It was stopped by the war until 1816, when Professor Hufeland (born at Danzig on the 19th of October 1760) joined, but he died on the 25th of November 1817 while the specimen part was at press. The editors of the different sections at various times have been some of the best-known men of learning in Germany, including J. G. Gruber, M. H. E. Meier, Hermann Brockhaus, W. Müller and A. G. Hoffmann of Jena.
The work is divided into three sections (1) A-G, of which 99 vols. had appeared by 1905, (2) H-N, 43 vols., (3) O-Z, 25 vols. All articles bear the authors’ names, and those not ready in time were placed at the end of their letter. The longest in the work is Griechenland, vols. 80-87, 3668 pages, with a table of contents. It began to appear after vol. 73 (Götze to Gondouin), and hence does not come in its proper place, which is in vol. 91. Gross Britannien contains 700 pages, and Indien by Benfey 356.
The Encyclopaedia Metropolitana (London, 1845, 4to, 28 vols., issued in 59 parts in 1817–1845, 22,426 pages, 565 plates) professed to give sciences and systematic arts entire and in their natural sequence, as shown in the introductory treatise on method by S. T. Coleridge. “The plan was the proposal of the poet Coleridge, and it had at least enough of a poetical character to be eminently unpractical” (Quarterly Review, cxiii., 379). However defective the plan, the excellence of many of the treatises by Archbishop Whately, Sir John Herschel, Professors Barlow, Peacock, de Morgan, &c., is undoubted. It is in four divisions, the last only being alphabetical:—I. Pure Sciences, 2 vols., 1813 pages, 16 plates, 28 treatises, includes grammar, law and theology; II. Mixed and Applied Sciences, 8 vols., 5391 pages, 437 plates, 42 treatises, including fine arts, useful arts, natural history and its “application,” the medical sciences; III. History and Biography, 5 vols., 4458 pages, 7 maps, containing biography (135 essays) chronologically arranged (to Thomas Aquinas in vol. 3), and interspersed with (210) chapters on history (to 1815), as the most philosophical, interesting and natural form (but modern lives were so many that the plan broke down, and a division of biography, to be in 2 vols., was announced but not published); IV. Miscellaneous, 12 vols., 10,338 pages, 105 plates, including geography, a dictionary of English (the first form of Richardson’s) and descriptive natural history. The index, 364 pages, contains about 9000 articles. A re-issue in 38 vols. 4to, was announced in 1849. Of a second edition 42 vols. 8vo, 14,744 pages, belonging to divisions i. to iii., were published in 1849–1858.
The very excellent and useful English Cyclopaedia (London, 1854–1862, 4to, 23 vols., 12,117 pages; supplements, 1869–1873, 4 vols., 2858 pages), conducted by Charles Knight, based on the Penny Cyclopaedia (London, 1833–1846, 4to, 29 vols., 15,625 pages), of which he had the copyright, is in four divisions all alphabetical, and evidently very unequal as classes:—1, geography; 2, natural history; 3, biography (with 703 lives of living persons); 4, arts and sciences. The synoptical index, 168 pages, has four columns on a page, one for each division, so that the order is alphabetical and yet the words are classed.
Chambers’s Encyclopaedia (Edinburgh, W. & R. Chambers), 1860–1868, 8vo, 10 vols., 8283 pages, edited in part by the publishers, but under the charge of Dr Andrew Findlater as “acting editor” throughout, was founded on the 10th edition of Brockhaus. A revised edition appeared in 1874, 8320 pages. In the list of 126 contributors were J. H. Burton, Emmanuel Deutsch, Professor Goldstücker, &c. The index of matters not having special articles contained about 1500 headings. The articles were generally excellent, more especially on Jewish literature, folk-lore and practical science; but, as in Brockhaus, the scope of the work did not allow extended treatment. A further revision took place, and in 1888–1892 an entirely new edition was published, in 10 vols., still further new editions being issued in 1895 and in 1901.
An excellent brief compilation, the Harmsworth Encyclopaedia (1905), was published in 40 fortnightly parts (sevenpence each) in England, and as Nelson’s Encyclopaedia (revised) in 12 vols. (1906) in America. It was originally prepared for Messrs Nelson of Edinburgh and for the Carmelite Press, London.
In the United States various encyclopaedias have been published, but without rivalling there the Encyclopædia Britannica, the 9th edition of which was extensively pirated. Several American Supplements were also issued.
The New American Cyclopaedia, New York (Appleton & Co.), 1858–1863, 16 vols., 12,752 pages, was the work of the editors, George Ripley and Charles Anderson Dana, and 364 contributors, chiefly American. A supplementary work, the American Annual Cyclopaedia, a yearly 8vo vol. of about 800 pages and 250 articles, was started in 1861, but ceased in 1902. In a new edition, the American Cyclopaedia, 1873–1876, 8vo, 16 vols., 13,484 pages, by the same editors, 4 associate editors, 31 revisers and a librarian, each article passed through the hands of 6 or 8 revisers.
Other American encyclopaedias are Alvin J. Johnson’s New Universal Cyclopaedia, 1875–1877, in 4 vols., a new edition of which (excellently planned) was published in 8 vols., 1893–1895, under the name of Johnson’s Universal Cyclopaedia; the Encyclopaedia Americana, edited by Francis Lieber, which appeared in 1839–1847 in 14 vols.; a new work under the same title, published in 1903–1904 in 16 vols.; the International Cyclopaedia, first published in 1884 (revised in 1891, 1894 and 1898), and superseded in 1902 (revised, 1906) by the New International Encyclopaedia in 17 vols.
In Europe a great impetus was given to the compilation of encyclopaedias by the appearance of Brockhaus’ Conversations-Lexicon (see above), which, as a begetter of these works, must rank, in the 19th century, with the Cyclopaedia of Ephraim Chambers in the 18th. The following, although in no sense an exhaustive list, may be here mentioned. In France, Le Grand Dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, of Pierre Larousse (15 vols., 1866–1876), with supplementary volumes in 1877, 1887 and 1890; the Nouveau Larousse illustré, dictionnaire universel encyclopédique (7 vols., 1901–1904), (this is in no way a re-issue or an abridgment of Le Grand Dictionnaire of Pierre Larousse); La Grande Encyclopédie, inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres, et des arts, in 31 vols. (1886–1903). In Italy, the Nuova Enciclopedia Italiana (14 vols., 1841–1851, and in 25 vols., 1875–1888). In Spain, the Diccionario enciclopedico Hispano-Americano de litteratura, ciencias y artes, published at Barcelona (25 vols., 1877–1899). The Russian encyclopaedia, Russkiy Entsiklopedicheskiy Slovar (41 vols., 1905, 2 supplementary vols., 1908) was begun in 1890 as a Russian version of Brockhaus’ Conversations-Lexicon, but has become a monumental encyclopaedia, to which all the best Russian men of science and letters have contributed. Elaborate encyclopaedias have also appeared in the Polish, Hungarian, Bohemian and Rumanian languages. Of Scandinavian encyclopaedias there have been re-issues of the Nordësk Conversations-Lexicon, first published in 1858–1863, and of the Svenskt Conversations-Lexicon, first published in 1845–1851.