01 January 2009
The "Encyclopedia" Britannica, Part 1
My great apologies for my absence. I have been occupied with matters of a pseudoacademic nature. More on that later.
I would like to relate a story to you that happened some weeks ago. As I spent a quiet New Year's Eve contemplating the vagaries of academicia, intelligentology, knowledgeophilia, and the like, I browsed through my collection of antiquated encyclopedias. After becoming unsatisfied with my 1983 edition of Funk and Wagnall's New Encyclopedia, I found in the Cabinet my long-forgotten copy of the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Published in 1768 in three volumes, it is, in my opinion, the definitive statement of Complete World (British) Knowledge. Actually, its full title is:
Encyclopaedia Britannica; or a Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Compiled upon a New Plan, in which the Different Sciences and Arts are Digested into Distinct Treatises or Systoms; and the Various Technical Terms, etc., are Explained as They Occur in the Order of the Alpahbet, Illustrated with One Hundred and Sixty Copperplates, by a Society of Gentlemen in Scotland, in Three Volumes.
So catchy! Why don't they have titles like that anymore?
Piqued your curiosity (ha!), haven't I? Well, more is to follow, on such interesting topics as "Copperplates," "Samuel Johnson," "Bonnie Prince Charlie," and other fascinating minutia!