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The Encyclopaedia Britannica,
Ninth Edition and Tenth Edition



Volume IV of the 9th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica,
open at the article, "California", and accompanying map


A massive collection of authoritative articles

The famous Ninth Edition (1875-89) of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is widely known as the "Scholar's Edition" for its high intellectual standards.

The Tenth Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1902-03) reprinted all the volumes of the Ninth Edition and added further volumes to update the encyclopedia to the early 20th century.

Taken together, the articles of these two editions of the Britannica (presented here by 1902 Encyclopedia) constitute a authoritative reference library on every aspect of human knowledge.


Written by top scholars and experts

These articles were written by the top scholars and experts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries:

-- Scientist Thomas Henry Huxley expounded Darwin's theory of evolution
-- Poet Charles Algernon Swinburne discussed the life and work of John Keats
-- Craftsman and designer William Morris presented the history of mural decoration
-- Author, traveller and Egyptologist Amelia Edwards, introduced readers to world of Ancient Egypt (as in her article on the mummy)
-- Anthropologist James G Frazer looked at totemism and taboo
-- Physicist James Clerk Maxwell explained the concept of ether
-- Thermodynamics pioneer William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) propounded his views on elasticity and heat
-- Essayist and Whig politician Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay recounted the lives of John Bunyan, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson and William Pitt the Younger
-- Theologian and orientalist William Robertson Smith applied the "higher criticism" to Biblical literature (as in his articles on angels and the Bible)
-- Conservationist John Muir argued for the preservation of the Yosemite Valley
-- Novelist Robert Louis Stevenson analyzed the lives and works of literary figures, such as Pierre Jean de Béranger, the national song writer of France
-- Traveller and revolutionist Prince P A Kropotkin revealed the real conditions of life in Russian cities and countryside (such as Odessa and Siberia).


Praise from the critics

"The 9th edition... was a great work of 19th-century scholarship, and many of its articles have hardly been bettered (eg, that on the Renaissance)."
-- Walford's Guide to Reference Material. 7th Edition. (London, Library Association, 1998)

"The 9th ed., under the able editorship of William Robertson Smith, was the high watermark of the Britannica"
-- Guide to Reference Books. 11th Edition. (Chicago, American Library Association, 1996)

"The ninth edition ... has achieved universal recognition for its outstanding scholarship and high caliber of contributors"
-- The Booklist and Subscription Books Bulletin. Vol. 64, No. 7, Dec. 1, 1967

"Throughout its history, but especially after the 9th edition, the Britannica was considered to be the most magisterial encyclopedia, having the highest authority of any general encyclopedia."
-- Answers.com
(retrieved on Apr. 4, 2007)

"The landmark ninth edition [of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is] often called 'the Scholar's Edition'...

The 9th and 11th editions [of the Britannica are] are often lauded as high points for scholarship; the 9th included [...] illustrious contributors such as Thomas Henry Huxley, Lord Rayleigh, Algernon Swinburne and William Michael Rossetti."
-- Wikipedia
(retrieved Apr. 4, 2007)

"The 9th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is the print apotheosis of the Victorian world view. It is not a dry work of reference, but is alive with opinion and personality. There are plenty of examples of Empire-minded bombast and slanted jingoism, but again and again the freshness and modernity of a contributor's insights leap out at the 21st century reader."
-- According To The Ninth
(retrieved Mar. 14, 2008)


Read more:
Important Contributors to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th and 10th Editions
Full List of Contributors to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th and 10th Editions





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This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries