DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, in Which the Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in Their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers. To Which are Prefixed a History of the Language and An English Grammar
DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, in Which the Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in Their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers. To Which are Prefixed a History of the Language and An English Grammar

DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, in Which the Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in Their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers. To Which are Prefixed a History of the Language and An English Grammar

(London: by W. Strahan for W. Strahan, J.& F. Rivington [and others], 1773).

A VERY HANDSOME SET OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT FOURTH EDITION, which was the last in which Samuel Johnson himself had any involvement. TEXTUALLY, IT IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE BEST EDITION of Johnson's great work and THE MOST IMPORTANT EDITION AFTER THE FIRST of 1755. It contains Johnson's advertisement (THE FIRST EDITION TO DO SO) in which he states, 'Perfection is unattainable, but nearer and nearer approaches may be made; and finding my Dictionary about to be reprinted, I have endeavoured, by a revisal, to make it less reprehensible'.
Johnson, in undertaking the vast work of creating his dictionary, set out to perform single handed for the English language what the French Academy, a century before, had attempted for French. He hope to produce "a dictionary by which the pronunciation of our language may be fixed, and its attainment facilitated;" and though, of course, no language can be frozen in time, by aiming at fixing the language he succeeded in giving the standard of reputable use. As Noah Webster stated, his work "had, in philology, the effect which Newton's discoveries had in mathematics."
"Johnson's achievement marked an epoch in the history of the language. The result of nine years labor, it did more than any other work before or since towards fixing the language. The preface ranks among Johnson's finest writings. The most amazing, enduring, and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography" (Printing and the Mind of Man).
. Item #26898

2 volumes. The Fourth edition, the highly important final folio edition to be revised by Johnson himself. Provenance: Sir James & Lucy Esdaile (inscription dated (?)1775); James Kennedy Esdaile (armorial bookplate); Edmund Esdaile, Pembroke College, Oxford (inscription). Title-pages printed in red and black. Royal folio (425 X 265mm), in original binding of full calf over thick boards, the backs expertly restored to full period grandeur with elaborate gilt tooled compartments with grand central tools and extensive additional tooling all in gilt between gilt decorated bands, two compartments with contrasting red and green labels gilt lettered and decorated, endpapers marbled. A very attractive set, the original calf with some pleasant age, corners consolidated, first two leaves of Vol. I with some normal creasing, the text clean and fresh, withal a very solid, handsome copy in fine state.

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Price: $9,500.00