Biography and History

William Hepworth Dixon was an English scholar, historian, traveler, author and editor. His first work, John Howard and the Prison World of Europe, appeared in 1849. In 1850 Dixon brought out a volume descriptive of "The London Prisons" and was appointed a deputy-commissioner of the first great international exhibition, and helped to start more than one hundred of its three hundred committees. His Life of William Penn was published in 1851, and in 1853 Dixon became editor of the Athenaeum, to which he had been a contributor for some years. Some of his papers in the Athenaeum led to the publication of the Auckland Memoirs and of Court and Society, edited by the Duke of Manchester. In 1861 Dixon traveled in Portugal, Spain, and Morocco, and edited the Memoirs of Lady Morgan, who had appointed him her literary executor. In 1863 he helped to found the Palestine Exploration Fund of which he eventually became chairman. He then published The Holy Land, (1865) and New America, (1867) which passed through eight editions in England, three in America, and several foreign printings. In August 1869, Dixon resigned the editorship of the Athenaeum, but he continued to write and publish material. Dixon was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Pennsylvania Society, and several other scholarly organizations.

Source: From the finding aid for C0992