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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, current events, wine, astronomy, ideas and beliefs, gardening, medicine, etc. The selection of subjects has varied slightly over the years, and recently the atlas section has been dropped.
Since 1953 it has been published annually. As of January 2017[update] the most recent edition (2016-2017) is the 125th, published on 4 August 2016. It was for many years published by Pelham Books but is currently published by Penguin Books. It has been edited by Dr. Chris Cook since 1977.
During the 1950s, the encyclopaedia awarded the Silver Pears' Trophy annually to a prominent person for "outstanding British achievement in any field."
- "Pears' Cyclopaedia 2016-2017 by Chris Cook". www.penguin.co.uk. Penguin Books. Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
- "Pears Cyclopaedia". Penguin Books. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- "Chris Cook". www.penguin.co.uk. Penguin Books. Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
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