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THE DEATH OF THE CONQUEROR.
[If we were asked to proclaim the man who has done most for the cause of popular education and the enlightenment of the middle and working classes, we should not hesitate to name Charles Knight; and it is not only from his character as a projector and producer of cheap and good literature, but as an elegant and perspicuous writer of history, a careful and conscientious editor, and an antiquary, that his high and enduring position in English literature has been established.
Mr. Knight was born at Windsor, in 1791, his father being a bookseller in the royal borough. In 1811, in partnership with his father, he established the " Windsor and Eton Express. In 1820, 1821, and 1822, he edited, in connexion with the late Mr. Locker, Commissioner of Greenwich Hospital (and father of Fredk. Locker the poet), "The Plain Dealer," the first attempt to produce cheap literature of a high character.
In 1822 Mr. Knight removed to London, and started, at Pall Mall East, "Knight's Quarterly Magazine," to which Macaulay was a contributor.
In 1827 he became associated with the Useful Knowledge Society, and edited many of its publications. "The Penny Magazine," which he commenced in 1832, was continued for eleven years; and in 1838 " The Penny Cyclopaedia " made its first appearance. During the course of this work Mr. Knight expended upon it forty thousand pounds in original contributions. This, in addition to his own valuable matter. Among his other works his "Shakspeare," "Pictorial History of England," "London," and the series of "Shilling Volumes,"—bear testimony to his genius and industry.