SMILES, SAMUEL (1812-1904). —Biographer and miscellaneous writer, born at Haddington, educated at the Grammar School there, studied medicine at Edinburgh, and settled in practice in his native town. Subsequently he betook himself to journalism, and edited a paper in Leeds. Afterwards he was sec. to various railways.
His leisure was devoted to reading and writing, and his first publication was The Life of George Stephenson (1857). Self-Help, his most popular work, followed in 1859; it had an immense circulation, and was translated into 17 languages. It was followed up by Character (1871), Thrift (1875), and Duty (1880). The Lives of the Engineers and Industrial Biography appeared in 1863, The Huguenots, their Settlements, Churches, and Industries in England and Ireland (1867), and The Huguenots in France a little later. He also wrote biographies of Telford and James Watt, and of the Scottish naturalists, Edwards the shoemaker and Dick the baker. He received the degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh in 1878.