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It was the equivalent of the family Bible in many secular British households-but does Whitaker's Almanack still have its traditional authority? Nicolas Walter studies the 130th edition

By Nicolas Walter   January 1998

In the old days, serious secular households like mine kept Whitaker’s Almanack as the standard reference book, occupying more or less the place of a Bible, alongside a dictionary and an atlas. At the end of each year, one of our Christmas presents would be the next year’s edition-not the inferior paperback “Shorter Edition” nor the pretentious leather-bound “Library Edition,” but the superior red-and-green hardback “Complete Edition.” We would study it in turn-especially the summaries of the previous year’s events-and then use it several times during the coming year for quick reference or slow re-reading. Much of my knowledge of…

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