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Bartlett, John (14 June 1820–03 December 1905), editor, publisher, and lexicographer, was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of William Bartlett and Susan Thacher. Bartlett’s love of words manifested itself at an early age: at three years he was reciting verses from the Bible; by nine he had read it from cover to cover. Educated in Plymouth’s public schools, he left school at the age of sixteen. Soon after, he took a job at a bookbinding company that was then associated with the University Book Store serving Harvard University in Cambridge. His copious memory and love of books soon had the university faculty and students using him as a ready reference tool. “Ask John Bartlett” was the frequent answer to most questions. To help his memory, Bartlett began keeping a notebook of common phrases and quotations....

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Vizetelly, Frank Horace (02 April 1864–21 December 1938), lexicographer and editor, was born Francis Horace Vizetelly in Kensington, London, England, to Henry Richard Vizetelly and Elizabeth Anne Ansell, a school teacher. His father, uncle, and two step-brothers were important English journalists, writers, and publishers of Italian descent. From 1865 to 1872 Henry Vizetelly was foreign correspondent to the ...