Thursday, September 23, 2004

oh for a few grand and more shelf space

There are some types of scholarship which are just slow plods, but which in the end yield magnificent results likely to help us all for years to come. The new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, to be published November 1st, is just that. On what must be a strange publicity tour, both the Guardian and the NYTimes have covered the release. The editor Brian Harrison, in a piece of deserved admiration for his own creation (with the help of over 1000 scholars), describes it as, "a great Victorian monument revamped for the 21st century. It is an important cultural event, and a commercial one, and it has been published on time." One of Harrison's favorite entries is Sir Charles Isham, thought to have invented the British garden gnome. Purchase the DNB now and save 1000 pounds off the post-publication price of 7500 pounds.

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