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An American Dictionary of the English Language. First Edition in Octavo, containing the whole vocabulary of the Quarto, with corrections, improvements, and several thousand additional words; To which is prefixed an introductory dissertation on the origin, history and connection of the languages of western Asia and Europe, with an explanation of the principles on which languages are formed
New Haven: Published by the Author. Sold by Crocker & Brewster, Boston, [etc.] ... Printed by B.L. Hamlen, 1842. Second edition, first octavo edition. Engraved portrait frontispiece to vol.I by Asher Brown Durand after Samuel F.B. Morse, no printer's name given. lxxvi, 938; 1004 pp. 2 vols. Large 8vo (10-1/2 x 6 7/8 inches; 269 x 174 mm). Contemporary speckled sheep, contrasting morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers, marbled edges. Covers scuffed, joints worn, some light spotting to text, some worming to vol. I, not affecting text. Morse, Samuel French B. Second edition, first octavo edition. Engraved portrait frontispiece to vol.I by Asher Brown Durand after Samuel F.B. Morse, no printer's name given. lxxvi, 938; 1004 pp. 2 vols. Large 8vo (10-1/2 x 6 7/8 inches; 269 x 174 mm). The Second Edition, The First Unabridged Octavo Edition. A fine copy of the rare second and first octavo edition of Webster's unabridged dictionary, the last that Webster published before his death in 1843. This is the textually best edition published in Webster's lifetime, incorporating his final revisions, 5,000 new definitions, and a preface and introduction "on the origin, history and connection of the languages of western Asia and Europe, with an explanation of the principles on which languages are formed." Skeel notes that 3,000 copies of this edition were printed, fewer than the 5 or 6 thousand that Webster wanted, but more than the 2,500 of the 1828 first edition. A prospectus (Skeel 585) advertised the edition at $13 (sheep) and $14 (calf, gilt). The work was in the press for over a year; a note in Webster's hand on a copy in the Connecticut State Library states "First signature of this edition impressed Oct. 22, 1839. Last sheet impressed January 30, 1841 15 months & days." The edition sold slowly, with nearly half of the run still in sheets at the time of Webster's death. Skeel 586; cf. Grolier American 36; cf. PMM 291; cf. Sabin 102335. Provenance: George W. Turner (of Elmscourt or Elms Court, Natchez, Mississippi, inscription in both volumes dated 1842)
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Last Found On: 2017-10-08           Check availability:      ABAA    

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