Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born at Kibworth Harcourt , Leicestershire, England, and received his elementary education at the Nonconformist academy at Warrington, where his father was a tutor. He studied medicine at the university of Edinburgh, and in London under Dr. William Hunter. He practised as a surgeon at Chester and Warrington. Finally, he went to Leiden, earned an M.D. (1780), and in 1784 established himself as a doctor in Great Yarmouth.
In 1792 he moved to London, where he practised as a consulting physician. However, he concerned himself more with the advocacy of liberty of conscience than with his professional duties, and he began at an early period to devote himself to literary pursuits. In conjunction with his sister, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, he published a popular series of volumes entitled Evenings at Home (6 vols., 1792-1795), for elementary family reading, which were translated into almost every European language.
In 1798 Dr. Aikin retired from professional life and devoted himself with great industry to various literary undertakings, among which his General Biography (10 vols., 1799-1815) holds a conspicuous place. Besides these, he published:
- Evenings at Home(1792-95)
- General Biography (ten volumes, completed in 1815)
- Annals of the Reign of George III (1816)
- Select Works of the British Poets (1820)
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