William Chambers

Dates: 1800-1883
With his brother Robert, he established the publishing firm W. and R. Chambers. Their newspaper, "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal", was inexpensive and extremely popular, reaching a circulation of 50,000. A handful of authors, like George Meredith, were first published in their journal. Their firm published other "cheap" literature as well, such as "Chambers's Encyclopaedia", which ushered in an era of literature "for the people." Curwen writes, "Books were to be no longer the curious luxuries of the rich man's library ... but were to be fairly placed at the disposal of the many" (234-5).
Pages 234-251: Curwen, Henry. "A History of Booksellers, the Old and the New." London: Chatto and Windus, 1873. Page 920: Timperley, C.H. Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote, London: Henry G. Bohn, 1842.
Online: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/5084
Occupations: author, bookseller, printer, publisher


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