Alexander Chalmers

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Alexander Chalmers
Born29 March 1759
Died29 December 1834 (1834-12-30) (aged 75)
Known forBiography

Alexander Chalmers (29 March 1759 – 29 December 1834) was a Scottish writer.

He was born in Aberdeen. Trained as a doctor, he gave up medicine for journalism, and was for some time editor of the Morning Herald. Besides editions of the works of William Shakespeare, James Beattie, Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, Joseph Warton, Alexander Pope, Edward Gibbon, and Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, he published A General Biographical Dictionary in 32 volumes (1812–1817); a Glossary to Shakspeare (1807); an edition of George Steevens's Shakespeare (1809); and the British Essayists, beginning with the Tatler and ending with the Observer, with biographical and historical prefaces and a general index.

A quotation is often attributed to him: "The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."[1] His papers are held at the National Library of Scotland.[2]


  1. ^ On other sites and resources, this quote has been credited to an "Allan K. Chalmers". This quote has also, however, been attributed to Joseph Addison, who lived from 1672–1719. The quote is actually by the American clergyman George Washington Burnap (1802–1859), published in Burnap's The Sphere and Duties of Woman: A Course of Lectures (1848), Lecture IV.
  2. ^ "Archival material relating to Alexander Chalmers". UK National Archives.