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Manuscript of Smiles' novel Character.

Administrative / Biographical History

Samuel Smiles 1812-1904

Smiles was educated at Haddington Grammar School. In 1826 he was apprenticedto local medical practitioners. He studied at Edinburgh University, 1829-32,and engaged in practice at Haddington, 1832-8. Smiles published PhysicalEducation (1837, new editions 1868 and 1905). He travelled in Holland andfirst visited London in 1838. Smiles was editor of Leeds Times, an advancedradical organ, 1838-42. He was assistant secretary of Leeds and ThirskRailway, 1845, secretary of South Eastern Railway, 1854-66, and president ofthe National Provident Institution, 1866-71. In his leisure time he focusedupon the advocacy of political and social reform on the lines of Manchesterschool, and to biography of industrial leaders or of humble self-taughtstudents.

His publications include:

  • Life of George Stephenson (1857)
  • Lives of the Engineers (3 volumes 1861-2)
  • Self-help (1859)
  • Character (1871)
  • The Huguenots in France (1874)
  • Thrift (1875)
  • Life of George Moore (1878)
  • Duty (1880)
  • Life and Labour (1887)


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