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The British Noteworthy

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2001–2004 edited by Lawrence Goldman; Oxford University Press, 2009, £95. When the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography was published (in print and online) in September 2004 it produced a wave of superlatives—“the greatest cultural enterprise on earth”, “the greatest reference work on earth”. The libraries of those bibliophiles and scholars who had £1500 to purchase the work made room for sixty volumes in the simple livery of the Oxford University Press—dark blue with gold lettering—running twelve feet along the shelf, weighing 280 pounds, comprising 60,000 pages, 54,922 lives in 60 million words written by 10,000…

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