Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition

The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1910–11) is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, and many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia.[1] However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic. Some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition


Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition

The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled with the management of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor.[2]

Originally, Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume 9th edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes (35 volumes total) as the tenth edition, which was published in 1902. Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, and he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is generally perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but also in the efforts made to make it more popular. American marketing methods also assisted sales. Some 14% of the contributors (214 of 1507) were from North America, and a New York office was established to coordinate their work.[3]

The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of selected articles or at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China, and a key is given in each volume to these initials. Some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley, James Hopwood Jeans and William Michael Rossetti. Among the then lesser-known contributors were some who would later become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell. Many articles were carried over from the 9th edition, some with minimal updating. Some of the book-length articles were divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others much abridged. The best-known authors generally contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by journalists, British Museum scholars and other scholars. The 1911 edition was the first edition of the encyclopædia to include more than just a handful of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition.[4]

The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes of the format of the Britannica. It was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The print type was kept in galley proofs and subject to continual updating until publication. It was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in which was added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first not to include long treatise-length articles. Even though the overall length of the work was about the same as that of its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000. It was also the first edition of Britannica to include biographies of living people. Sixteen maps of the famous 9th edition of Stielers Handatlas were exclusively translated to English, converted to Imperial units, printed in Gotha, Germany by Justus Perthes and became part this edition. Later editions only included Perthes' great maps as low quality reproductions.[5]

According to Coleman and Simmons,[6] the content of the encyclopedia was distributed as follows:

Subject Content
Geography 29%
Pure and applied science 17%
History 17%
Literature 11%
Fine art 9%
Social science 7%
Psychology 1.7%
Philosophy 0.8%

Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a substantially American publication.[7] In 1922, an additional three volumes (also edited by Hugh Chisholm), were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including World War I. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, consisting of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were closely related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content. However, it became increasingly apparent that a more thorough update of the work was required.

The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was considerably revised, with much text eliminated or abridged to make room for new topics. Nevertheless, the eleventh edition was the basis of every later version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the completely new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation.

The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars, especially as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its maximum, imperialism was largely unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, and the tragedy of the modern world wars was still in the future. They are an invaluable resource for topics omitted from modern encyclopedias, particularly for biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia has value as an example of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as pathetic fallacy (attribution of human-like traits to impersonal forces or inanimate objects), which are not as common in modern reference texts.[6]

Notable commentary on the Eleventh Edition

1913 advertisement for the eleventh edition

In 1917, using the pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+ page criticism of inaccuracies and biases of the Encyclopædia Britannica eleventh edition. Wright claimed that Britannica was "characterized by misstatement, inexcusable omissions, rabid and patriotic prejudices, personal animosities, blatant errors of fact, scholastic ignorance, gross neglect of non-British culture, an astounding egotism, and an undisguised contempt for American progress".[8]

Amos Urban Shirk, known for having read the eleventh and fourteenth editions in their entirety, said he found the fourteenth edition to be a "big improvement" over the eleventh, stating that "most of the material had been completely rewritten".

Robert Collison, in Encyclopaedias: Their History Throughout The Ages (1966), wrote of the eleventh edition that it "was probably the finest edition of the Britannica ever issued, and it ranks with the Enciclopedia Italiana and the Espasa as one of the three greatest encyclopaedias. It was the last edition to be produced almost in its entirety in Britain, and its position in time as a summary of the world's knowledge just before the outbreak of World War I is particularly valuable".

Sir Kenneth Clark, in Another Part of the Wood (1974), wrote of the eleventh edition, "One leaps from one subject to another, fascinated as much by the play of mind and the idiosyncrasies of their authors as by the facts and dates. It must be the last encyclopaedia in the tradition of Diderot which assumes that information can be made memorable only when it is slightly coloured by prejudice. When T. S. Eliot wrote 'Soul curled up on the window seat reading the Encyclopædia Britannica,' he was certainly thinking of the eleventh edition." (Clark refers to Eliot's 1929 poem "Animula".) It was one of Jorge Luis Borges's favorite works, and was a source of information and enjoyment for his entire working life.[9]

In 1912, mathematician L. C. Karpinski criticised the eleventh edition for inaccuracies in articles on the history of mathematics, none of which had been written by specialists.[10]

English writer and former priest Joseph McCabe claimed in Lies and Fallacies of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1947) that Britannica was censored under pressure from the Roman Catholic Church after the 11th edition.[11]

Authorities ranging from Virginia Woolf to professors criticised the 11th edition for having bourgeois and old-fashioned opinions on art, literature, and social sciences.[4] A contemporary Cornell professor, Edward B. Titchener, wrote in 1912, "the new Britannica does not reproduce the psychological atmosphere of its day and generation... Despite the halo of authority, and despite the scrutiny of the staff, the great bulk of the secondary articles in general psychology ... are not adapted to the requirements of the intelligent reader".[12]

Critics have charged several editions with racism and sexism.[4][13] The eleventh edition characterises the Ku Klux Klan as protecting the white race and restoring order to the American South after the American Civil War, citing the need to "control the negro", and "the frequent occurrence of the crime of rape by negro men upon white women".[14][15] Similarly, the "Civilization" article argues for eugenics, stating that it is irrational to "propagate low orders of intelligence, to feed the ranks of paupers, defectives and criminals ... which to-day constitute so threatening an obstacle to racial progress".[16] The eleventh edition has no biography of Marie Curie, despite her winning of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911, although she is mentioned briefly under the biography of her husband Pierre Curie.[17] The Britannica employed a large female editorial staff that wrote hundreds of articles for which they were not given credit.[4]

1911 Britannica in the 21st century

The 1911 edition is no longer restricted by copyright, and it is therefore available in several more modern forms. While it may once have been a reliable description of the consensus of its time, many modern readers find fault with the Encyclopedia for several major errors, ethnocentric remarks, and other issues:

  • Contemporary opinions of race and ethnicity are included in the Encyclopedia's articles. For example, the entry for "Negro" states, "Mentally the negro is inferior to the white... the arrest or even deterioration of mental development [after adolescence] is no doubt very largely due to the fact that after puberty sexual matters take the first place in the negro's life and thoughts."[18] The article about the American War of Independence attributes the success of the United States in part to "a population mainly of good English blood and instincts".[19]
  • Many articles are now outdated factually, in particular those concerning science, technology, international and municipal law, and medicine. For example, the article on the vitamin deficiency disease beriberi speculates that it is caused by a fungus, vitamins not having been discovered at the time. Articles about geographic places mention rail connections and ferry stops in towns that no longer employ such transport (though this in itself can be useful for those looking for historical information).
  • Even where the facts might still be accurate, new information, theories and perspectives developed since 1911 have substantially changed the way the same facts might be interpreted. For example, the modern interpretation of the history of the Visigoths is now very different from that of 1911; readers of the eleventh edition who want to know about the social customs and political life of the tribe and its warriors are told to look up the entry for their king, Alaric I.

The eleventh edition of Encyclopædia Britannica has become a commonly quoted source, both because of the reputation of the Britannica and because it is now in the public domain and has been made available on the Internet. It has been used as a source by many modern projects, including Wikipedia and the Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia.

Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

The Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia is the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, renamed to address Britannica's trademark concerns. Project Gutenberg's offerings are summarized below in the External links section and include text and graphics. As of 2018, Distributed Proofreaders are working on producing a complete electronic edition of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

See also


  1. ^ Boyles, Denis (2016). Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica's Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911. Knopf. pp. xi–x. ISBN 9780307269171.
  2. ^ S. Padraig Walsh, Anglo-American general encyclopedias: a historical bibliography (1968), p. 49
  3. ^ Boyles (2016), p. 242.
  4. ^ a b c d Thomas, Gillian (1992). A Position to Command Respect: Women and the Eleventh Britannica. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-2567-8.
  5. ^ Wolfgang Lierz: Karten aus Stielers Hand-Atlas in der „Encyclopaedia Britannica“. In: Cartographica Helvetica. Heft 29, 2004, ISSN 1015-8480, S. 27–34 online Archived 2016-07-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b All There is to Know (1994), edited by Alexander Coleman and Charles Simmons. Subtitled: "Readings from the Illustrious Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica". p. 32. ISBN 0-671-76747-X
  7. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica - Eleventh edition and its supplements | English language reference work". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  8. ^ Misinforming a Nation. 1917. Wikisource-logo.svg Chapter 1.
  9. ^ Woodall, James (1996). Borges: A Life. New York: BasicBooks. p. 76. ISBN 0-465-04361-5.
  10. ^ Karpinski, L. C. (1912). "History of Mathematics in the Recent Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica". Science. 35 (888): 29–31. Bibcode:1912Sci....35...29K. doi:10.1126/science.35.888.29. PMID 17752897.
  11. ^ McCabe, J (1947). Lies and Fallacies of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Haldeman-Julius. ASIN B0007FFJF4. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
  12. ^ Titchener, EB (1912). "The Psychology of the new 'Britannica'". American Journal of Psychology. University of Illinois Press. 23 (1): 37–58. doi:10.2307/1413113. JSTOR 1413113.
  13. ^ Chalmers, F. Graeme (1992). "The Origins of Racism in the Public School Art Curriculum". Studies in Art Education. 33 (3): 134–143. doi:10.2307/1320895. JSTOR 1320895.
  14. ^ Wikisource Fleming, Walter Lynwood (1911). "Lynch Law" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  15. ^ Wikisource Fleming, Walter Lynwood (1911). "Ku Klux Klan" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  16. ^ Wikisource Williams, Henry Smith (1911). "Civilization" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  17. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Curie, Pierre" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 644.
  18. ^ Wikisource Joyce, Thomas Athol (1911). "Negro" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 344.
  19. ^ Wikisource Hannay, David (1911). "American War of Independence" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 845.

Further reading

  • Boyles, Denis. Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica's Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911 (2016), ISBN 0307269175, online review

External links

Free, public-domain sources for 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica text

Internet Archive – Text Archives
Individual Volumes
Volume From To
Volume 1 A Androphagi
Volume 2 Andros, Sir Edmund Austria
Volume 3 Austria, Lower Bisectrix
Volume 4 Bisharin Calgary
Volume 5 Calhoun, John Caldwell Chatelaine
Volume 6 Châtelet Constantine
Volume 7 Constantine Pavlovich Demidov
Volume 8 Demijohn Edward the Black Prince
Volume 9 Edwardes, Sir Herbert Benjamin Evangelical Association
Volume 10 Evangelical Church Conference Francis Joseph I
Volume 11 Franciscans Gibson, William Hamilton
Volume 12 Gichtel, Johann Georg Harmonium
Volume 13 Harmony Hurstmonceaux
Volume 14 Husband Italic
Volume 15 Italy Kyshtym
Volume 16 L Lord Advocate
Volume 17 Lord Chamberlain Mecklenburg
Volume 18 Medal Mumps
Volume 19 Mun, Adrien Albert Marie de Oddfellows, Order of
Volume 20 Ode Payment of members
Volume 21 Payn, James Polka
Volume 22 Poll Reeves, John Sims
Volume 23 Refectory Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin
Volume 24 Sainte-Claire Deville, Étienne Henri Shuttle
Volume 25 Shuválov, Peter Andreivich Subliminal self
Volume 26 Submarine mines Tom-Tom
Volume 27 Tonalite Vesuvius
Volume 28 Vetch Zymotic diseases
Volume 29 Index List of contributors
Volume 1 of 1922 supp Abbe English History
Volume 2 of 1922 supp English Literature Oyama, Iwao
Volume 3 of 1922 supp Pacific Ocean Islands Zuloaga
Reader's Guide – 1913
Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia
As of 16 December 2014
Section From To
Volume 1:   A  –   Androphagi
Volume 2.1:   Andros, Sir Edmund  –   Anise
Volume 2.2:   Anjar  –   Apollo
Volume 2.3:   Apollodorus  –   Aral
Volume 2.4:   Aram, Eugene  –   Arcueil
Volume 2.5:   Arculf  –   Armour, Philip
Volume 2.6:   Armour Plates  –   Arundel, Earls of
Volume 2.7:   Arundel, Thomas  –   Athens
Volume 2.8:   Atherstone  –   Austria
Volume 3.1:   Austria, Lower  –   Bacon
Volume 3.2:   Baconthorpe  –   Bankruptcy
Volume 3.3:   Banks  –   Bassoon
Volume 3.4:   Basso-relievo  –   Bedfordshire
Volume 3.5:   Bedlam  –   Benson, George
Volume 3.6:   Bent, James  –   Bibirine
Volume 3.7:   Bible  –   Bisectrix
Volume 4.1:   Bisharin  –   Bohea
Volume 4.2:   Bohemia  –   Borgia, Francis
Volume 4.3:   Borgia, Lucrezia  –   Bradford, John
Volume 4.4:   Bradford, William  –   Brequigny, Louis
Volume 4.5:   Bréquigny  –   Bulgaria
Volume 4.6:   Bulgaria  –   Calgary
Volume 5.1:   Calhoun  –   Camoens
Volume 5.2:   Camorra  –   Cape Colony
Volume 5.3:   Capefigue  –   Carneades
Volume 5.4:   Carnegie, Andrew  –   Casus Belli
Volume 5.5:   Cat  –   Celt
Volume 5.6:   Celtes, Konrad  –   Ceramics
Volume 5.7:   Cerargyrite  –   Charing Cross
Volume 5.8:   Chariot  –   Chatelaine
Volume 6.1:   Châtelet  –   Chicago
Volume 6.2:   Chicago, University of  –   Chiton
Volume 6.3:   Chitral  –   Cincinnati
Volume 6.4:   Cincinnatus  –   Cleruchy
Volume 6.5:   Clervaux  –   Cockade
Volume 6.6:   Cockaigne  –   Columbus, Christopher
Volume 6.7:   Columbus  –   Condottiere
Volume 6.8:   Conduction, Electric  –  
Volume 7.1:   Prependix  –  
Volume 7.2:   Constantine Pavlovich  –   Convention
Volume 7.3:   Convention  –   Copyright
Volume 7.4:   Coquelin  –   Costume
Volume 7.5:   Cosway  –   Coucy
Volume 7.6:   Coucy-le-Château  –   Crocodile
Volume 7.7:   Crocoite  –   Cuba
Volume 7.8:   Cube  –   Daguerre, Louis
Volume 7.9:   Dagupan  –   David
Volume 7.10:   David, St  –   Demidov
Volume 8.2:   Demijohn  –   Destructor
Volume 8.3:   Destructors  –   Diameter
Volume 8.4:   Diameter  –   Dinarchus
Volume 8.5:   Dinard  –   Dodsworth
Volume 8.6:   Dodwell  –   Drama
Volume 8.7:   Drama  –   Dublin
Volume 8.8:   Dubner  –   Dyeing
Volume 8.9:   Dyer  –   Echidna
Volume 8.10:   Echinoderma  –   Edward
Volume 9.1:   Edwardes  –   Ehrenbreitstein
Volume 9.2:   Ehud  –   Electroscope
Volume 9.3:   Electrostatics  –   Engis
Volume 9.4:   England  –   English Finance
Volume 9.5:   English History  –  
Volume 9.6:   English Language  –   Epsom Salts
Volume 9.7:   Equation  –   Ethics
Volume 9.8:   Ethiopia  –   Evangelical Association
Volume 10.1:   Evangelical Church Conference  –   Fairbairn, Sir William
Volume 10.2:   Fairbanks, Erastus  –   Fens
Volume 10.3:   Fenton, Edward  –   Finistère
Volume 10.4:   Finland  –   Fleury, Andre
Volume 10.5:   Fleury, Claude  –   Foraker, Joseph Henson
Volume 10.6:   Foraminifera  –   Fox, Edward
Volume 10.7:   Fox, George  –   France[p.775-p.894]
Volume 10.8:   France[p.895-p.929]  –   Francis Joseph I.
Volume 11.1:   Franciscians  –   French Language
Volume 11.2:   French Literature  –   Frost, William
Volume 11.3:   Frost  –   Fyzabad
Volume 11.4:   G  –   Gaskell, Elizabeth
Volume 11.5:   Gassendi, Pierre  –   Geocentric
Volume 11.6:   Geodesy  –   Geometry
Volume 11.7:   Geoponici  –   Germany[p.804-p.840]
Volume 11.8:   Germany[p.841-p.901]  –   Gibson, William
Volume 12.1:   Gichtel, Johann  –   Glory
Volume 12.2:   Gloss  –   Gordon, Charles George
Volume 12.3:   Gordon, Lord George  –   Grasses
Volume 12.4:   Grasshopper  –   Greek Language
Volume 12.5:   Greek Law  –   Ground-Squirrel
Volume 12.6:   Groups, Theory of  –   Gwyniad
Volume 12.7:   Gyantse  –   Hallel
Volume 12.8:   Haller, Albrecht  –   Harmonium
Volume 13.1:   Harmony  –   Heanor
Volume 13.2:   Hearing  –   Helmond
Volume 13.3:   Helmont, Jean  –   Hernosand
Volume 13.4:   Hero  –   Hindu Chronology
Volume 13.5:   Hinduism  –   Home, Earls of
Volume 13.6:   Home, Daniel  –   Hortensius, Quintus
Volume 13.7:   Horticulture  –   Hudson Bay
Volume 13.8:   Hudson River  –   Hurstmonceaux
Volume 14.1:   Husband  –   Hydrolysis
Volume 14.2:   Hydromechanics  –   Ichnography
Volume 14.3:   Ichthyology  –   Independence
Volume 14.4:   Independence, Declaration of  –   Indo-European Languages
Volume 14.5:   Indole  –   Insanity
Volume 14.6:   Inscriptions  –   Ireland, William Henry
Volume 14.7:   Ireland  –   Isabey, Jean Baptiste
Volume 14.8:   Isabnormal Lines  –   Italic
Volume 15.1:   Italy  –   Jacobite Church
Volume 15.2:   Jacobites  –   Japan (part)
Volume 15.3:   Japan (part)  –   Jeveros
Volume 15.4:   Jevons, Stanley  –   Joint
Volume 15.5:   Joints  –   Justinian I.
Volume 15.6:   Justinian II.  –   Kells
Volume 15.7:   Kelly, Edward  –   Kite
Volume 15.8:   Kite-flying  –   Kyshtym
Volume 16.1:   L  –   Lamellibranchia
Volume 16.2:   Lamennais, Robert de  –   Latini, Brunetto
Volume 16.3:   Latin Language  –   Lefebvre, Pierre François Joseph
Volume 16.4:   Lefebvre, Tanneguy  –   Letronne, Jean Antoine
Volume 16.5:   Letter  –   Lightfoot, John
Volume 16.6:   Lightfoot, Joseph Barber  –   Liquidation
Volume 16.7:   Liquid Gases  –   Logar
Volume 16.8:   Logarithm  –   Lord Advocate
Volume 17.1:   Lord Chamberlain  –   Luqmān
Volume 17.2:   Luray Cavern  –   Mackinac Island
Volume 17.3:   McKinley, William  –   Magnetism, Terrestrial
Volume 17.4:   Magnetite  –   Malt
Volume 17.5:   Malta  –   Map, Walter
Volume 17.6:   Map  –   Mars
Volume 17.7:   Mars  –   Matteawan
Volume 17.8:   Matter  –   Mecklenburg

Other sources for 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica text

The preceding links adopt the spellings used in the target.

Agnes Muriel Clay

Agnes Muriel Clay (1878–1962) was an English historian and writer. A classics tutor at Lady Margaret Hall, Clay wrote Roman law articles for the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition and published Sources for Roman History B.C. 133–170 with Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge.

Alfred Barton Rendle

Alfred Barton Rendle FRS (19 January 1865 – 11 January 1938) was an English botanist.Rendle was born in Lewisham and educated at St Olave's Grammar School and St John's College, Cambridge. He was Keeper of Botany at the Natural History Museum from 1906 to 1930, in succession to George Robert Milne Murray.

In 1905, Rendle attended the International Botanical Congress in Vienna, where he was appointed on to the editorial committee for the International Rules of Botanical Nomenclature (now superseded by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants and the International Code of Nomenclature for Bacteria) a role which he continued in until 1935.

Rendle published a number of books. Perhaps the best known of these was The Classification of Flowering Plants, which saw a gap of over 20 years between the publication of its two volumes - the first was published in 1904, but readers had to wait until 1925 for volume two. This long gap was attributed by Rendle to his "increasing official and non-official duties". He was also botany editor for the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, published in 1911.

Rendle was president of the Quekett Microscopical Club from 1916 to 1921 and president of the Linnean Society from 1923 to 1927.

Alkali manufacture

This is a historical article, primarily based on the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. For current information see sodium hydroxide manufacture and Chloralkali process.Alkali manufacture is the process by which an alkali is made. Typical alkalis, produced commercially, include sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, potassium hydroxide and potassium carbonate.

A number of processes have been proposed for the manufacture of alkali from various metals, the most common being the Leblanc and ammonia-soda processes.

Anastasius Germonius

Anastasius Germonius (also Anastase Germon) (1551 – 4 August 1627) was an Italian Canon lawyer, diplomatist and archbishop of Tarantaise, who belonged to the family of the marquises of Ceve, in Piedmont, where he was born.As archdeacon at Turin he was a member of the commission appointed by Pope Clement VIII to edit the Liber Septimus decretalium (later known as the Constitutiones Clementinae); and he also wrote Paratitla on the five books of the Decretals of Gregory IX. He represented the Duke of Savoy at the court of Rome under Clement VIII and Paul V, and was ambassador to Spain under Kings Philip III and IV.Germonius is best known for his treatise on ambassadors, De legatis principum et populorum libri tres (Rome, 1627). According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, "[t]he book is diffuse, pedantic and somewhat heavy in style, but valuable historically as written by a theorist who was also an expert man of affairs."

Antonio Coello

Antonio Coello (26 October 1611, Madrid – 20 October 1652, Madrid) was a Spanish dramatist and poet. He entered the household of the Duke of Alburquerque, and after some years of service in the army received the Order of Santiago in 1648. He was a favorite of Philip IV, who is reported to have collaborated with him; this rumour is not confirmed, but there is ample proof of Coello's collaboration with Calderón, Rojas Zorrilla, Solis and Velez de Guevara, the most distinguished dramatists of the age.According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, the best of his original plays, Los Empenos de seis horas, "is an excellent example of stagecraft and animated dialogue." It has been wrongly ascribed to Calderón; it was adapted by Samuel Tuke, under the title of The Adventures of Five Hours, and was described by Pepys as superior to Othello. Coello died on 20 October 1652, shortly after his nomination to a post in the household of Philip IV.


Belles-lettres or belles lettres is a category of writing, originally meaning beautiful or fine writing. In the modern narrow sense, it is a label for literary works that do not fall into the major categories such as fiction, poetry, or drama. The phrase is sometimes used pejoratively for writing that focuses on the aesthetic qualities of language rather than its practical application. A writer of belles-lettres is a belletrist.

Literally, belles-lettres is a French phrase meaning "beautiful" or "fine" writing. In this sense, therefore, it includes all literary works—especially fiction, poetry, drama, or essays—valued for their aesthetic qualities and originality of style and tone. The term thus can be used to refer to literature generally. The Nuttall Encyclopedia, for example, described belles-lettres as the "department of literature which implies literary culture and belongs to the domain of art, whatever the subject may be or the special form; it includes poetry, the drama, fiction, and criticism," while the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition describes it as "the more artistic and imaginative forms of literature, as poetry or romance, as opposed to more pedestrian and exact studies."However, for many modern purposes, belles-lettres is used in a narrower sense to identify literary works that do not fall into other major categories, such as fiction, poetry or drama. Thus, it would include essays, récits, published collections of speeches and letters, satirical and humorous writings, and other miscellaneous works. The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd Edition) says that "it is now generally applied (when used at all) to the lighter branches of literature." The term remains in use among librarians and others who have to classify books: while a large library might have separate categories for essays, letters, humor and so forth (and most of them are assigned different codes in, for example, the Dewey decimal classification system), in libraries of modest size they are often all grouped together under the heading belles-lettres.

The phrase is sometimes used in a derogatory manner when speaking about the study of literature: those who study rhetoric often deride many language departments (particularly English departments in the English-speaking world) for focusing on the aesthetic qualities of language rather than its practical application. A quote from Brian Sutton's article in Language and Learning Across the Disciplines, "Writing in the Disciplines, First-Year Composition, and the Research Paper", serves to illustrate the rhetoricians' opinion on this subject and their use of the term:

Writing-in-the-disciplines adherents, well aware of the wide range of academic genres a first-year composition student may have to deal with in the future, are unlikely to force those students to venture so deeply into any one genre as to require slavish imitation. The only first-year composition teachers likely to demand "conformity and submission" to a particular kind of academic discourse are those English-department fixtures, the evangelical disciples of literature, professors whose goal in first-year composition is to teach students to explicate belles lettres. Writing-in-the-disciplines adherents, unlike teachers of literature-as-composition, generally recognize the folly of forcing students to conform to the conventions of a discourse community they have no desire to join.

In his Elements of Criticism, prominent Scottish-British belles-lettres rhetorician Lord Kames (1696–1782) describes the aim of the belles-lettres movement as the want to "discover a foundation for reasoning upon the taste of an individual" and "design a science of rational criticism." The focus of the Belletristic Rhetoric Theory is on defining the characteristics of rhetorical style such as beauty, sublimity, propriety and wit all of which play a part in affecting the emotion and reasoning capabilities of the audience. Also important to those studying rhetoric and belles-lettres is defining the taste of the audience; this is key to being a truly successful rhetorician or writer. As another belles-lettres rhetorician, Hugh Blair (1718–1800), states in Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, "taste is foundational to rhetoric and necessary for successful spoken and written discourse."

Bernhard von Beskow

Bernhard von Beskow (April 19, 1796 in Stockholm – October 17, 1868), Swedish dramatist and historian, was the son of a Stockholm merchant.

His vocation for literature was assisted by his tutor, the poet Johan Magnus Stjernstolpe (1777–1831), whose works he edited. He entered the civil service in 1814, was ennobled in 1826 and received the title of baron in 1843. He held high appointments at court, and was, from 1834 onwards, perpetual secretary of the Swedish Academy, using his great influence with tact and generosity. He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1836.His works include many academical memoirs, volumes of poems, philosophy and a historical study, Om Gustav den tredje såsom Konung och Menniska (5 vols, 1860–1869, Gustavus III as king and man), printed in the transactions of the Swedish Academy (vols 32, 34, 37, 42, 44).According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition: "His poetry is over-decorated, and his plays are grandiose historical poems in dramatic form. Among them are Erik XIV (2 parts, 1826); and four pieces collected (1836–1838) as Dramatiska Studier, the most famous of which is the tragedy of Torkel Knutsson."


Damaraland was a name given to the north-central part of what later became Namibia, inhabited by the Damaras. It was bounded roughly by Ovamboland in the north, the Namib Desert in the west, the Kalahari Desert in the east, and Windhoek in the south.

In the 1970s the name Damaraland was revived for a bantustan in South West Africa (present-day Namibia), intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Damara people. A centrally administered local government was created in 1980. The bantustan Damaraland was situated on the western edge of the territory that had been known as Damaraland in the 19th century.

Damaraland, like other homelands in South West Africa, was abolished in May 1989 at the start of the transition to independence.

The name Damaraland predates South African control of Namibia, and was described as "the central portion of German South West Africa" in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.


Diphilus (Greek: Δίφιλος), of Sinope, was a poet of the new Attic comedy and a contemporary of Menander (342-291 BC). He is frequently listed together with Menander and Philemon, considered the three greatest poets of New Comedy. He was victorious at least three times at the Lenaia, placing him third before Philemon and Menander. Although most of his plays were written and acted at Athens he died at Smyrna. His body was returned and buried in Athens.According to Athenaeus, he was on intimate terms with the famous courtesan Gnathaena. Athenaeus quotes the comic poet Machon in support of this claim. Machon is also the source for the claim that Diphilus acted in his own plays.An anonymous essay on comedy from antiquity reports that Diphilus wrote 100 plays. Of these 100 plays, 59 titles, and 137 fragments (or quotations) survive. From the extant fragments, Diphilus' plays seem to have featured many of the stock characters now primarily associated with the comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus, who translated and adapted a number of Diphilus' plays. Swaggering soldiers, verbose cooks, courtesans, and parasites, all feature in the fragments. In contrast to his more successful contemporaries, Menander and Philemon, Diphilus seems to have had a preference for the mythological subjects so popular in Middle Comedy.To judge from the imitations of Plautus (Casina from the Κληρούμενοι, Asinaria from the Ὀναγός, Rudens from some other play), he was very skillful in the construction of his plots. Terence also tells us that he introduced into the Adelphi (ii. I) a scene from the Συναποθνήσκοντες, which had been omitted by Plautus in his adaptation (Commorientes) of the same play.According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition:

The style of Diphilus was simple and natural, and his language on the whole good Attic; he paid great attention to versification, and was supposed to have invented a peculiar kind of metre. The ancients were undecided whether to class him among the writers of the New or Middle comedy. In his fondness for mythological subjects (Hercules, Theseus) and his introduction on the stage (by a bold anachronism) of the poets Archilochus and Hipponax as rivals of Sappho, he approximates to the spirit of the latter.

Dolon Nor

Dolon Nor (simplified Chinese: 多伦淖尔; traditional Chinese: 多倫淖爾; pinyin: Duō lún Nào'ĕr; Mongolian: Долоон нуур, Doloon nuur, seven lakes; also: To-lun, Dolonnur), is a town and the county seat of Duolun County, Xilin Gol League in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, China. It is of historical importance because the remnants of Shangdu, the summer capital of Kublai Khan and the following Mongol emperors of the Yuan dynasty (13th and 14th century), are located some 28 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of the modern town. Beginning in the 17th century, the Manchu emperors of the Qing dynasty developed the city as a religious center.In the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911), the city is described as follows:

The town proper almost exclusively occupied by Chinese, is about a mile in length by half a mile in breadth, has narrow and dirty streets, and contains a population of about 26,000. Unlike the ordinary Chinese town of the same rank, it is not walled. A busy trade is carried on between the Chinese and the Mongolians, who bring in their cattle, sheep, camels, hides and wool to barter for tea, tobacco, cotton and silk. At some distance from the Chinese town lies the Mongolian quarter, with two groups of lama temples and villages occupied by about 2300 priests. Dr Williamson (Journeys in North China, 1870) described the chief temple as a huge oblong building with an interior not unlike a Gothic church. Lamamiao is the seat of a manufactory of bronze idols and other articles of ritual, which find their way to all parts of Mongolia and Tibet. The craftsmen work in their own houses.

Another, longer description of the city is to be found in the remarkable writings of Évariste Huc (1813–1860), a Frenchman who stayed there in 1845 on his way to Lhasa (which he reached after 18 months of travelling).

In 1933, the town was the object of fighting between the Japanese and their Manchukuoan puppet troops and the Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army.

Ernst Jedliczka

Ernst Jedliczka (24 May 1855 – 3 August 1904) was a Russian-German pianist, piano pedagogue, and music critic. The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition stated that Jedliczka "did much to spread Russian music in Germany, placing Russian composers in a prominent place within his concerts and devoting them to a series of articles."

Born in Poltava, Jedliczka was the son of Ukrainian composer Alois Jedliczka. In 1876 he earned diplomas in mathematics and physics from Saint Petersburg State University. He then pursued studies at the Moscow Conservatory (MC) where he was a piano student of Anton Rubinstein, Nikolai Rubinstein and Charles Klindworth. After graduating from the MC in 1879, he taught on the piano faculty of the MC from 1880-1887. He then taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin from 1888–1897 and at the Stern Conservatory from 1897 until his death in 1904. His notable pupils included Charles Tomlinson Griffes, W. H. Hewlett, John J. McClellan, Arthur Nevin, Olga Samaroff, and Bruno Seidler-Winkler.

Jedlickza was a member of a notable trio in Berlin whose other members included violinist Karel Halíř and cellist Hugo Dechert. The trio notably presented the world premieres and Berlin premieres of several works by Hans Pfitzner. He also wrote music criticism for the German newspaper Allgemeine deutsche Musikzeitung for many years. He died in Berlin at the age of 49.

Gujin Tushu Jicheng

The Gujin Tushu Jicheng (simplified Chinese: 古今图书集成; traditional Chinese: 古今圖書集成; pinyin: Gǔjīn Túshū Jíchéng; Wade–Giles: Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'eng; literally: 'Complete Collection of Illustrations and Writings from the Earliest to Current Times'), also known as the Imperial Encyclopaedia, is a vast encyclopedic work written in China during the reigns of the Qing Dynasty emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng. It was begun in 1700 and completed in 1725. The work was headed initially by scholar Chen Menglei (陳夢雷), and later by Jiang Tingxi.

The encyclopaedia contained 10,000 volumes. Sixty-four imprints were made of the first edition, known as the Wu-ying Hall edition. The encyclopaedia consisted of 6 series, 32 divisions, and 6,117 sections. It contained 800,000 pages and over 100 million Chinese characters. Topics covered included natural phenomena, geography, history, literature and government. The work was printed in 1726 using copper movable type printing. It spanned around 10 thousand rolls (卷). To illustrate the huge size of the Gujin Tushu Jicheng, it is estimated to have contained 3 to 4 times the amount of material in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.The Emperor of China presented a set of the encyclopaedia in 5,000 fascicles to the China Society of London, which has deposited it on loan to Cambridge University Library. A complete copy in Japan was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake.

One of Yongzheng's brothers patronised the project for a while, although Yongzheng contrived to give exclusive credit to his father Kangxi instead.

Nap (textile)

Primarily, nap is the raised (fuzzy) surface on certain kinds of cloth, such as velvet or moleskin. Nap can refer additionally to other surfaces that look like the surface of a napped cloth, such as the surface of a felt or beaver hat.

Starting around the 14th century, the word referred originally to the roughness of woven cloth before it was sheared. When cloth, especially woollen cloth, is woven, the surface of the cloth is not smooth, and this roughness is the nap. Generally the cloth is then 'sheared' to create an even surface, and the nap is thus removed. A person who trimmed the surface of cloth with shears to remove any excess nap was known as a shearman.


Poel (German pronunciation: [ˈpøːl]) or Poel Island (German: Insel Poel), is an island in the Baltic Sea. It forms the natural northern and eastern boundaries of the Bay of Wismar on the German coast. The northern coast of the island is also on the south side of the large gulf known as the Bay of Mecklenburg, which Wismar Bay enters into. Insel Poel thus forms on its northern side the unofficial latitude of the northern boundary of the Wismar Bay.

It is close to the cities of Lübeck, Wismar and Schwerin and is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.

Administratively it is a municipality in the Nordwestmecklenburg district. It consists of Kirchdorf and Oertzenhof (the main towns) and the smaller villages of Timmendorf, Wangern, Hinterwangern, Weitendorf, Weitendorf-Hof, Brandenhusen, Neuhof, Seedorf, Niendorf, Schwarzer Busch, Kaltenhof, Fährdorf, Malchow, Vorwerk and Gollwitz. It covers an area of 36.02 km2 (13.91 sq mi) and has 2,873 citizens. Satellite pictures show that most of it is used as farmland. With its good air, clean water, fine beaches and sheltered harbours, it is also popular recreational area. At Timmendorf harbour there are a pilot's station and facilities for yachts and local fishermen. Kirchdorf has a yachting harbour and a boatyard. Wismar Bay is cited by the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910-1911) as the finest harbor on the Baltic.

The island's name derives from pole, the Common Slavic word for "flat land" or "field".

René le Brun, Comte de L'Hôpital

René le Brun, Comte de L'Hôpital (5 May 1877 – 1929) was an English artist.

L'Hôpital was the son of 6th Duc de Viry. He studied at the Royal Academy in London. His best known works are the illustrations he did for the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1911) and his portraits of Pope Leo XIII, Sir Alfred Scott-Gatty and Prince Arthur of Connaught.


Roughcast or pebbledash is a coarse plaster surface used on outside walls that consists of lime and sometimes cement mixed with sand, small gravel, and often pebbles or shells. The materials are mixed into a slurry and are then thrown at the working surface with a trowel or scoop. The idea is to maintain an even spread, free from lumps, ridges or runs and without missing any background.

Roughcasting incorporates the stones in the mix, whereas pebbledashing adds them on top.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911), roughcast used to be a widespread exterior coating given to the walls of common dwellings and outbuildings, but it is now frequently employed for decorative effect on country houses, especially those built using timber framing (half timber). Variety can be obtained on the surface of the wall by small pebbles of different colours, and in the Tudor period fragments of glass were sometimes embedded.Though it is an occasional home-design fad, its general unpopularity in the UK today is estimated to reduce the value of a property by up to 5%. However roughcasting remains very popular in Scotland, with a high percentage of new houses still being built with roughcasting.This exterior wall finish was made popular in England and Wales during the 1920s, when housing was in greater demand, and house builders were forced to cut costs wherever they could, and used pebbledash to cover poor quality brick work, which also added rudimentary weather protection.

Pebbles were dredged from the seabed to provide the building materials needed, although most modern pebbledash is actually not pebbles at all, but small and sharp flint chips, and should correctly be called Spar dash or spa dash.

There are several varieties of this spar dash such as Canterbury spar, sharp-dash, sharpstone dash, thrown dash, pebble stucco, Derbyshire Spar, Yellow spar, golden gravel, black and white, and also sunflower.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, the central tower of St Albans Cathedral, built with Roman tiles from Verulamium, was covered with roughcast believed to be as old as the building. The roughcast was removed around 1870.

Second Battle of Wissembourg (1793)

The Second Battle of Wissembourg from 26 December 1793 to 29 December 1793 saw an army of the First French Republic under General Lazare Hoche fight a series of clashes against an army of Austrians, Prussians, Bavarians, and Hessians led by General Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser. There were significant actions at Wœrth on 22 December and Geisberg on 26 and 27 December. In the end, the French forced their opponents to withdraw to the east bank of the Rhine River. The action occurred during the War of the First Coalition phase of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Shinasha people

The Shinasha, also known as Bworo or Boro, are an ethnic group of Ethiopia. Their language belongs to the North Omotic family (see Omotic languages). They live north of the Blue Nile in the Metekel Zone of the Benishangul-Gumuz Region and number around 33,000 individuals. Their neighbors in the area include Gumuz and Oromo peoples.

Oscar T. Crosby encountered a group of 600 Shinasha in 1901, living in "a few villages between the Durra and Wombera [rivers]." He described their houses and dress, and claimed that they made their living through "claiming great powers of necromancy, by menace of rain or drought, they force the Shankalis to yield up to them a part of their scanty store of grain, or meat, or honey."They may be identical with the Sientjo people, who are the subject of an article in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition of 1911. If this identification is correct, then according to Juan Maria Schuver (who visited the Sientjo in 1882), they are a people with a lighter complexion "than Europeans would soon become in this climate" Schuver noted, which he described as a "yellow skin". Their unusual complexion led him to speculate that "all the region to the North of the Blue Nile was once inhabited by a white or yellow race and that the blacks, who have penetrated it, did so at the time they were fleeing their country from the Galla invasions?"The Sientjo lived in villages perched on the top of rocks in what is now western Wenbera woreda for protection from slave raids from Sudan; while Schuver was allowed access into one settlement, the inhabitants were obviously uncomfortable with his presence and repeatedly asked him "to remain content with my first visit to their mountain, as they were afraid of the Arabs following my example." Their women never intermarry with the neighboring peoples, who were of darker complexion. The Sientjo in Schuver's time were an industrious people, skillful weavers and smiths.


The Enciclopedia Italiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (Italian for "Italian Encyclopaedia of Science, Letters, and Arts"), best known as Treccani for its developer Giovanni Treccani or Enciclopedia Italiana, is an Italian-language encyclopaedia. The publication Encyclopaedias: Their History Throughout The Ages regards it as one of the greatest encyclopaedias, along with the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition and the Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana.

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