Alexander Chalmers


Alexander Chalmers was born in Aberdeen, the son of a printer and grandson of a professor of Divinity at Marischal College. He studied with James Beattie at Aberdeen before settling in London in 1777, where he worked as a journalist and editor. Chalmers wrote for the Analytical and Critical Reviews. In 1803 he edited the British Essayists in 45 volumes, the first of a long series of massive editorial projects that included the works of Shakespeare, Fielding, Beattie, Burns, and the English Poets (1810). His chief effort was the General Biographical Dictionary in 32 volumes, published between 1812 and 1817. Chalmers was regarded by some of his contemporaries as a booksellers' drudge, but there is no gainsaying his industry.


1810Works of the English Poets: Spenser.


The British essayists; with prefaces, historical and biographical, by Alexander Chalmers. 45 vols, 1802-03.
The poetical works of Robert Burns, ed. Chalmers. 3 vols, 1804.
James Beattie, The Minstrel, ed. Chalmers. 1806.
The works of the English poets. 21 vols, 1810.
The works of Henry Fielding, esq., ed. Chalmers. 10 vols, 1806.
A history of the colleges, halls, and public buildings, attached to the University of Oxford: including the lives of the founders. 1810.
English translations, from modern and ancient poems, by various authors, ed. Chalmers. 3 vols, 1810.
The plays of William Shakspeare, ed. Chalmers. 9 vols, 1811.
The general biographical dictionary. 32 vols, 1812-17.
The works of William Paley: with a life by Alexander Chalmers. 5 vols, 1821.
Works of Samuel Johnson, ed. Chalmers. 12 vols, 1823.
A dictionary of the English language ... by Samuel Johnson, ed. Chalmers. 1824.
The whole works of the Right Rev. Edward Reynolds, Lord Bishop of Norwich ... to which is prefixed a memoir of the life of the author, by Alexander Chalmers. 6 vols, 1826.
The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon, ed. Chalmers). 1831.