Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was born on 23 December 1812, the same year as Charles Dickens; like Dickens, he would become one of the best-selling authors of the Victorian era, though Smiles’s contribution would not be novels, but biographies and books in the inspiring vein of Self-Help (1859), his most famous work. Smiles was born and raised in Haddington, 18 miles east of Edinburgh. Pleasantly situated in East Lothian, Haddington was no sleepy shire; its status as market town and its proximity to Edinburgh gave it cultural advantages that more rural areas lacked.

Smiles was the second son of Samuel Smiles and Janet Wilson Smiles, who married in 1809 and had 14 children, eleven of whom survived infancy (A. Smiles 10-…

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Citation: Boiko, Karen. "Samuel Smiles". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 August 2021 [, accessed 28 May 2023.]

4107 Samuel Smiles 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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