Literary December

December is Read a New Book Month
December 6th Encyclopedia Britannica published.

December 3rd, 4th Holiday Book and Bake Sale, Auditorium RPL

other dates of note:
December 6th Sinterklaus
December 21st Winter Solstice
December 25th Christmas

When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day. Jean Fritz.I do love secondhand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest. Helen Hanff

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Barbara W Tuchman

On December 6th in 1768 that the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published. It’s the oldest English-language encyclopedia still in print. It was co-founded by two Scottish men: the printer and bookseller Colin Macfarquhar, and the engraver Andrew Bell. The first edition was titled “Encyclopadia Britannica, or, A dictionary of arts and sciences, compiled upon a new plan.” They were inspired to produce an encyclopedia in the spirit of the Scottish Enlightenment, to celebrate scientific and intellectual ideas. Scotland was one of the most literate nations in Europe, with a literacy rate of about 75 percent.
When Macfarquhar died, Andrew Bell took over the entire operation. Bell was quite the character in Edinburgh. He was less than five feet tall, but he proudly rode the tallest horse in the city, which he had to mount and dismount with a ladder, while people cheered for him. And he had an enormous nose, and sometimes when people stared at it, he would pull out his even-larger papier-mache nose, and put it on.
Bell illustrated 160 plates for the first edition of the Britannica, including illustrations of female pelvises and fetuses for the “Midwifery” entry, which shocked King George III so much that he demanded they be ripped out of every copy of the encyclopedia.
Today, the Encyclopedia Britannica employs 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors.


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