Pears Cyclopaedia

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The Pears Cyclopaedia is a one-volume encyclopaedia published in the United Kingdom. Pears Soap launched Pears Shilling Cyclopaedia in December 1897.

Since 1953 it has been published annually. The 58th edition, published in the autumn of 1948, stated that "This book is published annually"; however, the 61st edition was not published until 1953, the 60th being published in 1950. Prior to the 58th edition it was published 'as demand required', which meant that in some years three editions would be published and at other times more than a year would pass between editions. The most recent edition (2015-2016) is the 124th edition, published in August 2015. It has been edited by Dr Chris Cook since 1977 and is currently published by Penguin Books[1]

Each edition has traditionally featured an atlas, a gazetteer, a chronological list of events, a list of prominent people (past and present), a miniature encyclopaedia of general information and around a dozen or more other sections on various subjects such as cinema, classical mythology, gardening, etc. The selection of subjects varies slightly from year to year, and recently the more comprehensive atlas section has been dropped.

During the 1950s, the encyclopedia awarded the Silver Pears Trophy annually to a prominent person for "outstanding British achievement in any field."


  1. ^ "Pears Cyclopedia". Penguin Books. Retrieved 10 December 2015.