James Tytler

James Tytler

James Tytler (Balloon Tytler) (1745 - January 11, 1804) was a Scottish aviator (aeronaut) and an editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Tytler was trained as a surgeon and initially worked as a pharmacist. However, Tytler is most notable as the editor of the second edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, which was published between 1776 and 1784.cite book | last = Wells | first = James M. | year = 1968 | title = The Circle of Knowledge: Encyclopaedias Past and Present | publisher = The Newberry Library | location = Chicago | id = Library of Congress catalog number 68-21708] Although an eccentric drunkard, Tytler was hired by Colin Macfarquhar since he was a swift, excellent writercite book | last = Kogan | first = Herman | year = 1958 | title = The Great EB: The Story of the Encyclopædia Britannica | publisher = The University of Chicago Press | location = Chicago | id = LCCN|58|00|8379] and willing to work for a very low wage.

Tytler was the first Briton to fly a hot air balloon, making a flight over Edinburgh in 1784. However, Tytler was overshadowed by Vincenzo Lunardi — the self-styled "Daredevil Aeronaut" — who carried out five sensational launches in Scotland that created a ballooning fad and inspired ladies' fashions in skirts and hats. The "Lunardi bonnet" is mentioned in the poem "To a Louse" by Robert Burns.

Tytler began to edit the third edition of the "Britannica" but, in 1793, Tytler was indicted for sedition by the High Court of Justiciary and was forced to flee Scotland, going first to Ireland and then to the United States. He died in 1804 and is buried in Salem, Massachusetts; an ironic resting-place, considering that he did not mention the American Revolution in the second edition of the "Britannica". [cite book | year = 1968 | title = Banquet at Guildhall in the City of London, Tuesday 15 October 1968: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Encyclopædia Britannica and the 25th Anniversary of the Honorable William Benton as its Chairman and Publisher | publisher = Encyclopædia Britannica International, Ltd. | location = United Kingdom]

ee also

* History of the Encyclopædia Britannica


External links

* [http://www.stamp-shop.com/tytler/ Article by Robert Murray]
* [http://gillonj.tripod.com/edinburghfireballoon/]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/5320752.stm BBC News article]
* [http://www.stamp-shop.com/songs/tytler.html "Tytler's Up !", a tune in Tytler's honour]

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