John Bartlett Biography

Editor (1820–1905)
John Bartlett was an American bookseller and editor. He is best known for his book Familiar Quotations, which went through nine editions in his lifetime.


John Bartlett was born June 14, 1820, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. At 16, he became an employee of the Harvard University bookstore, where he became so versed in book knowledge that the advice “Ask John Bartlett” became common on campus. Eventually he came to own the store, and in 1855 he published the first edition of his Familiar Quotations, based on the notebook he kept for his customers.

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