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PUBLISHED BY OLIVER & BOYD, EDINBURGH:
SOLD ALSO BY
SIMPKIN & MARSHALL, STATIONERS'-HALL-COURT, LONDON;
WILLIAM CURRY, JUN. & CO. DUBLIN;
WILLIAM GRAPEL, LIVERPOOL; DAVID ROBERTSON, GLASGOW;
W. BLACKWELL & CO., SYDNEY; W. JACKSON, NEW YORK;
C. H. BELCHER, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA;
AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
On the Twelfth of July was published, price Three Shillings, to be continued every alternate Week,
With Introductory Dissertations on the History of the Sciences,
Illustrated by a New Set of Engravings on Steel, and compiling a complete Series of Folio Maps engraved by Sydney Hall.
The extraordinary circulation attained by many of the cheap publications of the day has suggested to the Proprietors of the Encyclopædia Britannica, that if a work of high and established character were offered to the public, at a price and in a form accommodated to the demands of the age, the support which it might reasonably anticipate would be proportionally liberal. In accordance with this view, they have resolved to commence a New Issue of the Encyclopædia Britannica, in a form which will bring it within the reach of all classes of the community.
This valuable work forms an Alphabetical Repertory of every branch of human knowledge. It was the first work of the class which aspired to embrace all the departments of learning, to render the alphabet a ready key, not only to the Arts and Sciences, but to the multiplied details of History, Biography, Geography, and Miscellaneous Literature;—and it was also the first in which the Sciences themselves were treated in a form at once consistent with alphabetical arrangement and systematic exposition. By the successive labours of the learned Contributors to its different editions, its pages have been stored with a mass of valuable and varied information. In its third edition, it became, through the numerous contributions of the late Professor Robison, the most complete Digest of the modern improvements in Physics that had yet been presented to the British Public; and in the fourth, it was raised, by means of those of Professor Wallace, to a similar eminence in the Mathematical Sciences. The compass and variety of its plan and information, the general ability of its execution, and its approved method of treating the Sciences, have, in a word, given it so decided a preference in public favour, that its popularity, instead of suffering any diminution from rivalship, has continued to increase to the present day.
This is sufficiently proved by the successive publication of Six extensive Editions, three of which have appeared within the last twenty years, and it is well known that the Supplement to the last of these Editions, completed in six volumes in 1824, attained a degree of celebrity never before reached by any similar undertaking in this country. But whilst it must be admitted to be one of the most valuable, it is also one of the cheapest publications of the day. If the quantity and quality of the matter, as compared with the price (not to mention the superior style in which both the printing and engraving are executed), be taken into account, this will be too evident to require further illustration. Every part indeed contains an interesting collection of Philosophical Disquisitions, Scientific Treatises, and articles on History and Biography, by the most eminent authors in these several departments, each of them respectively embracing the newest discoveries, the most recent improvements, or the latest information, which the progress of knowledge has supplied. These contributions, therefore, besides possessing the interest of entirely new works periodically issuing from the press, will, when completed, form the most valuable Digest of Human Knowledge that has yet appeared in Britain, in the convenient form of a Dictionary. To those who value the acquisition of Useful Knowledge, this Work, accordingly, offers peculiar advantages; nothing being admitted into its pages of a frivolous or ephemeral description, or unfavourable to the best interests of morals or revealed religion; and every part being corrected, improved, remodelled, or enlarged, so as not only to enhance the general value of the work in a literary point of view, but at the same time to bring down the information in each department to the date of publication. The additions which have thus been made, both in the way of amending former articles, and introducing, in every branch of science, literature, and general knowledge, a very great number of new contributions, expressly written for the purpose, are perhaps without precedent in any similar undertaking; and, upon the whole, the present is not so much a new edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica as a new work under that title. In every view, therefore, no periodical can be more beneficially put into the hands of the young, who can scarcely fail to find some source of attraction in every Part of it, and who, in the course of the publication, must acquire a stock of information altogether invaluable.
In the execution of the numerous improvements which are in course of being made in every part of the Work, the Editor is aided by those eminent scientific and literary men whose co-operation he enjoyed in the preparation of the Supplement, as well as by many other Contributors of distinguished reputation, both in this country and on the Continent.
I. By augmenting the contents of the page, without decreasing the size of the type, the Work, while much improved in appearance, will, notwithstanding the great extension of its matter, be comprehended in Twenty Quarto Volumes, handsomely printed on paper of a superior quality; twenty volumes of the present being nearly equal to twenty-four of the former Editions. Each volume will consist of eight hundred pages, containing a much greater quantity of matter than any similar publication; and the Proprietors hold themselves distinctly PLEDGED to the Public, that the Work shall not, on any account, exceed Twenty-one Volumes; their present confident belief, at the same time being, that it will be completed in Twenty.
II. The publication will proceed in Three Shillings Parts, published every alternate week, Twelve of which Parts will form a volume; each Part thus averaging above sixty-six pages, and containing three and two Plates alternately. The First Part was published on the Twelfth of July 1834. As the printing of the whole will be finished long before the expiration of the period required for the periodical issue of the Parts, the Subscribers will have the option of more speedily completing their copies of the Work, or of abiding by the publication in Parts till the end of the Series.
III. Each Part will be sold for Three Shillings, thus making the price of a quarto volume, of eight hundred ample pages, only Thirty-six Shillings; a price very considerably lower than that of any similar publication of the day, and which, when the quantity of Matter in each volume, the quality of Paper and Printing, the numerous Engravings, and the ability of the Articles, are taken into account, must be allowed to place the Work in a highly advantageous point of view, even at a period when the modes of diffusing useful knowledge at a moderate expense have so justly engaged the attention of the Public. Considering its Extent and Execution, it will unquestionably form the cheapest, as well as the most valuable Digest of Human Knowledge that has yet appeared in Britain.