Book Description
original contemporary full reverse calf leather gilt bindings now show edge and corner wear with rubbing and some surface loss - 3/4 boards detached but present - title page of vol 1 has sometime been laid down and shows some marginal loss grubby marks and some marginal tears as shown - first leaf of the preface shows some age toning and an old marginal repair to the top left hand corner - endpapers present but loose - the text blocks remain tight but show some old marginal water stains - former owners name to the title page of volume 2.
Dealer Notes
The Third Edition [1765] of this most famous of English dictionaries. This work has at various times been called “the most important British cultural monument of the eighteenth century” (Hitchings); “the only dictionary of the English language compiled by a writer of the first rank” (Robert Burchfield); “the most amazing, enduring and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography” (PMM); and the first genuinely descriptive dictionary in any language. “Johnson’s writings had, in philology, the effect which Newton’s discoveries had in mathematics” (Webster)
A landmark publication - the dictionary took just over eight years to compile, required six helpers, and listed 40,000 words. Each word was defined in detail, the definitions illustrated with quotations covering every branch of learning. It was a huge scholarly achievement, a more extensive and complex dictionary than any of its predecessors - and the comparable French Dictionnarre had taken 55 years to compile and required the dedication of 40 scholars.
Author Samuel Johnson
Date 1765

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