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Wilkins, John

An Essay Towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language

      Printed for Sa. Gellibrand and for John Martyn Printed to the Royal Society, 1668. 1st Ed. Sm. 4to. [ii] + (a-[d2]) + 454pp. + [ii] blank + Fly-title [3a] + (3a2-[Ttt3]). Character plate to pp.451 & 376, 2 engraved plates, 2 diagrams, 1 folding plate. T.p. with Imprimatur leaf affixed to verso, all the text of signature leaf 3a4 affixed to the lower margin of verso of signature 3a3, light browning, sl. soiling and chipping to t.p., light stain to head of hinges until pp.50, upper joint cracked, C19th half leather with cloth boards, rubbed, upper joint repaired. Apparently there were two distinct issues, one with all the plates, and one in which several plates were clearly never bound in, as above. John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester (1614-72), was a founding member of the Royal Society and one of the most influential thinkers of the seventeenth century. His masterpiece the above work is a key text in the history of language. Ready for publication in 1666 but destroyed by the Great fire, the work that was finally published in 1668 is Wilkin's attempt at creating a universal language. Wilkins provides an examination of the origins, change, adoption, and diffusion of languages and alphabets as well as offering a ‘Universal Philosophy' classification system. Appended to the essay is an alphabetical dictionary which lists English words, their symbols in the real character and references to their proper place in classification.

      [Bookseller: Alibris]
Last Found On: 2012-04-18          Check current availability from:     Alibris


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