8 Summer 2016 Hans Koning, writing in The New Yorker, said of its appeal, “It was the last great work of the age of reason, the final instance when all human knowledge could be presented with a single point of view.” Four years later, the confidence and optimism that had produced the 11th would be lost forever in the staggering slaughter of the First World War. Unabashed optimism – and unabashed racism – pervades many entries in the 11th. Despite its occasional ugliness, the reputation of the 11th persists today because of that time in history. One year after the final volume of the 11th was published the Titanic would strike an iceberg. Three years later, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. Five years later, a staggering 20 million people would die in the influenza pandemic. And the world would never be the same. And that is why so many believe the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica will outlast all the others. Norman Kane, an American rare book dealer only recently parted ways with his 11th and that decision was a reluctant result of a cross-country move. “The [index] is full of names that resonate in all fields of the arts and sciences. People whose books we sell every day.” Fifteen hundred men and an impressive (by Edwardian standards) 200 women contributed articles to the 11th edition, which combined scholarship and readability in a way no previous encyclopedia ever had – and, arguably, no encyclopedia has been able to repeat. While the pages of our personal volumes are in perfect condition, the bindings were sadly recovered by Margherita. So the set has little if any collectible value. We are keen on donating it to an institution, an individual, or a group who might want it for all within. If you are interested, by all means contact our office. T heart of the matter READ & RECYLE Matters Featuring Local People, Places and Things that Matter Since 1990 PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karen Duncan MANAGING DIRECTOR Rene Conlon SUPERVISING EDITOR Joanne DiPasquale ADVERTISING SALES Ellen Donker H. Leslie Gilman GRAPHIC ARTISTS Lyman Dally Joy Markel COPY EDITORS Nick Humez Tia Swanson CONTRIBUTORS Chris Gennone, Jamie Meier, Kristen Ryan, Joy Yagid, Please address all correspondence to: Visual Impact Advertising, Inc.© 9 Highland Place Maplewood, NJ 07040 973-763-4900 mattersmagazine.com Matters Magazine© is owned and pub- lished by Visual Impact Advertising, Inc., 9 Highland Place, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Publishedmonthly,MattersMagazineisfree, with editions directly mailed 7 times a year to the residents of Maplewood and South Orange and distributed to businesses and surrounding communities totaling 17,000. Subscriptions are available to non-residents for $30 (U.S.) $40 (Foreign) annually. No part of the publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Visual Impact Advertising, Inc. CIRCULATION VERIFIED BY U.S. POSTAL RECEIPTS. M A G A Z I N E When in Doubt, Look it Up The magic of Encyclopedia Britannica’s 11th edition BY KAREN DUNCAN The 2010 version of the 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was the last printed edition. Since then the company has only digital content and online distribution. First published as three volumes between 1768 and 1771 in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, theEncyclopediaBritannica rapidly grewin size, and by its fourth edition (1801–1810) had expanded to20volumes.The11th edition, publishedbetween1910 and 1911, is considered a landmark of scholarship and literary style, and remains a collector’s item. Nate Pedersen of The Guardian writes, “The 11th edition continues to inspire a religious reverence from its loyal adherents. The siren call of its 28 leather- bound volumes works a subtle magic on antiquarians, historians, booksellers, and scholars around the world.” In 1904 Margherita Sargent graduated from Radcliffe College and when she had saved enough from her early paychecks she bought the entire 11th edition: all 28 volumes and the index. She’d wanted her own volumes because she had fallen in love with the 9th and 10th editions that were housed in the college library. And her precious, well used, volumes remained with her until her death in 1968. Near the end of her life, she moved to her son’s home and the books lined the shelves of her bedroom. Her grandson, my husband, found himself turning page after page, reading aloud to her and becoming enthralled with the staggering depth of knowledge contained in the volumes. It is especially strong in its biographical entries. These delve deeply into the history of men and women prominent in their eras, who have since been largely forgotten. The 11th is considered exceptionally well- written, the first encyclopedia where readability was courted in addition to scholarship. But its durability goes deeper than that. Margherita Sargent, class of 1904 Radclliffe College and, below, her well-loved volumes of the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.