Hammerton, John Alexander
|born on||27 February 1871 at 23:00 (= 11:00 PM )|
|Place||Alexandria, Scotland, 55n59, 4w36|
|Timezone||GMT h0e (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||08°57' 14°31 Asc. 01°31'|
British writer, biographer, encyclopædia compiler and editor.
He is described by the Dictionary of National Biography as "the most successful creator of large-scale works of reference that Britain has known."
His first posts in journalism included a period in Nottingham where he first met Arthur Mee, who was to become his lifelong friend. Then, in 1905, he joined Alfred Harmsworth's Amalgamated Press. There he again collaborated with Mee in producing the Harmsworth Self-Educator. He contributed to the first edition of Mee's Children's Encyclopædia (1908-1910).
His greatest achievement was Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopædia, which – like the Children's Encyclopædia – was published first as a fortnightly series in 1920–22 and sold twelve million copies throughout the English-speaking world.
From 1914 to 1919, Hammerton was joint editor with Herbert Wrigley Wilson of the 13-volume periodical The Great War: The Standard History of the All-Europe Conflict, published by the Amalgamated Press.
In 1933, his A Popular History of the Great War (in 6 volumes) was published. The complete work comprises 3,840 pages of text, along with over 100 maps and diagrams and some 800 photographic illustrations.
The subjects of his biographies include J. M. Barrie, Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson. He also wrote an autobiography, Books and Myself (1944).
He died on 12 May 1949 in London.
Sy Scholfield quotes Hammerton's book, "Books and Myself: Memoirs of an Editor" (MacDonald & Co, 1944), p. 8: "Now I was born at Alexandria, Dumbartonshire, on February 27, 1871, although until my sixtieth year, when I collected the first of various endowment insurances, and had to get a copy of my birth certificate for verification, I had always, following my mother's instruction, given my birthday as the 28th. The hour is given as 11 pm on this document, so she was only one hour and a minute out."
- Vocation : Writers : Biographer
- Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor