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Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day/William Hepworth Dixon


The reputation of a very successful literary man might have been made on a fourth of what the ex-editor of the 'Athenæum' has done. In the catalogue of the British Museum—excluding his last work, 'The Switzers'—there are fifty-four titles bearing Mr. Dixon's name. He has, from his first literary effort—a play—to his last book of travel, written successively history, biography, essays, and travel, besides having filled the post of editor of the first among literary papers. His books have been translated into several of the languages of Europe, and there have been many American editions of his popular works.

He is the son of Mr. Abner Dixon, of Holmfirth and Kirk Burton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and was born June 30, 1821. Early in life, Mr. Dixon was associated with Douglas Jerrold and the great writers of that day; and, after publishing some papers in the 'Daily News' on the 'Literature of the Lower Orders,' and on 'London Prisons,' he wrote a 'Life of John Howard,' a book that at once attracted the attention it deserved, and passed through three editions in the first year after its publication—this was in 1849.

'Robert Blake, Admiral and General at Sea,' appeared in 1852. Mr. Dixon was also one of the most energetic and able promoters of the Great Exhibition of 1851. His latest works are 'New America,' 'Her Majesty's Tower,' 'Spiritual Wives,' 'Free Russia,' and 'The Switzers.' These works—as their popularity attests—are written in a manner very pleasing to the general reader. The style is lively and discursive—one in which new information on topics of the greatest interest is marshalled with the skill of a practised pen, without the matter ever becoming dry, or the pages tedious to the reader, who, resigning himself to the spell of the writer's power, visits with him the places and people he has described with so much freshness and originality.

"Her Majesty's Tower"

HER MAJESTY'S TOWER.