Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 63.djvu/9

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ix
A Statistical Account

thirty-five years (1856−91); and the German Dictionary, in forty-five volumes, twenty-five years (1875−1900); while the ‘Biographie Nationale’ of Belgium, though it has been thirty-one years in progress (1866−97), has not yet passed beyond the letter M. Appleton's ‘Cyclopædia of American Biography’ was planned on a far less elaborate scale than the works that have just been enumerated, and consequently it was found possible to publish its six volumes in the very brief period of two years.

During the progress of the work changes have taken place in the editorial staff. Twenty-one volumes were published under Mr. Stephen's sole editorship, and they brought the alphabet as far as Gloucester. The twenty-first volume appeared at the end of December 1889. The severe strain of editorial duties, coupled with his labours as writer of many of the most important memoirs, had then somewhat seriously impaired Mr. Stephen's health, and early in 1890 his assistant, Mr. Sidney Lee, after working under him for seven years, became joint-editor with him. Volumes xxii. to xxvi., which were published between March 1890 and March 1891, and brought the alphabet from Glover to Hindley, appeared under the joint-editorship of Mr. Stephen and Mr. Lee. In the spring of 1891 Mr. Stephen, owing to continued illhealth, was compelled to resign his part in the editorship, after eight and a half years' service. Happily for the literary success of the undertaking, re-established health enabled him to remain a contributor, and almost every succeeding volume of the Dictionary has included valuable memoirs from his pen. The last volume includes important articles by him on the poet Wordsworth and Edward Young, the author of the ‘Night Thoughts.’ On Mr. Stephen's retirement, in 1891, the full responsibilities of editorship passed into the hands of Mr. Lee, under whose guidance the last thirty-seven volumes have appeared. These are numbered xxvii. to lxiii., and bring the names from Hindmarsh to Zuylestein.

Various changes have also taken place during the progress of the undertaking in the subordinate editorial offices. Mr. T. F. Henderson and the Rev. William Hunt gave some sub-editorial assistance in 1885. Mr. C. L. Kingsford acted as assistant to Mr. Lee from November 1889 to July 1890, and was then succeeded by Mr. W. A. J. Archbold. After Mr. Lee's assumption of the office of editor in May 1891, Mr. Archbold and Mr. Thomas Seccombe, who then began a long and important association with the Dictionary, became sub-editors. At the same date Mr. Thompson Cooper resigned his place on the editorial staff, after having prepared the lists of names from the letter B as far as the name Meyrig. Mr. Cooper has remained a valued contributor of