Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fall Sale Preview: An Encyclopedia for the Ages

At the Fall 2015 book sale, we will offer the complete Encyclopedia Brittanica 12th Edition -- which consists of the renowned 11th Edition, published in 1910, and the 3-volume supplement to update the set through 1922.

Although today most households have given up on the once-essential family encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia Brittanica, 11th Edition remains a treasured reference work among book lovers and historians.

2015 Fall Sale Preview: complete Encyclopedia Brittanica 12th Edition, $200.
Click photo to enlarge.
The 11th Edition publishers dramatically changed their approach to creating this "sum of human knowledge," as they advertised it. Earlier editions were written by one or two authors and consisted of dense, academic, and not particularly useful text. By contrast, the 11th Edition was extensively rewritten with an emphasis on readability, with hundreds of scholars and journalists contributing 40,000 articles.

Final 11th Edition vols plus the 1922 12th Edition supplement.
 Click photo to enlarge.
Beyond being exceptionally well-written, the 11th Edition fascinates many readers because it is among the last works that presume to comprehensively catalog and elucidate the entire sphere of human knowledge. As such, it presents a panoramic, Edwardian view of world at the close of the age of reason, before (as Hans Koning wrote) that era's optimism and confidence  were lost in World War I's mindless destruction.

 Note that the 12th Edition set we offer includes the entire 11th Edition plus the supplement, published in 1922, which includes summaries of the events leading up to, during, and after the Great War. It will become available for $200 at the start of the fall sale, October 1.