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William Smellie, engraved by Henry Bryan Hall after George Watson (1840)

From: John Wilson and Robert Chambers, The Land of Burns: A Series of Landscapes and Portraits, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of the Scottish Poet (Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1840), facing vol. II, p. 4.

William Smellie (1740-95) printed the Edinburgh editions of Robert Burns's works and was a close friend of the poet. Besides being a Master Printer, Smellie was a learned and versatile man of letters and knew many of the most prominent writers and philosophers of Enlightenment Edinburgh. He edited the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1771), published a Philosophy of Natural History (1790), and started the Edinburgh Magazine and Review (1773-76) with Gilbert Stuart.