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Sir Leslie Stephen

(1832-1904), Writer, philosopher, mountaineer and first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography

Sitter in 13 portraits
Author, literary critic, philosopher and mountaineer, Sir Leslie Stephen wrote on ethics, theology and the history of ideas. He is principally recognised as a literary biographer and as the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography (1885 - 1891). At 63 volumes, the Dictionary was the most ambitious literary project of its day. Stephen took a strenuous role at every level of its production, finding it to be 'a very laborious and a very worrying piece of work'. He resigned as editor in 1891 but continued to contribute entries. He was knighted in 1902 in recognition of his services to literature. His children include Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.


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