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Of the Origin and Progress of Language. Second Edition [volumes 1 and 3]. With large Additions and Corrections. To which are annexed, Three Dissertations, Viz. 1. Of the Formation of the Greek Language. 2. Of the Sound of the Greek Language. 3. Of the Composition of the Ancients; and particularly of that of Demosthenes [volume 2 only]
Edinburgh: Printed for J. Balfour, Edinburgh [inter alia]; and T Cadell..., London, 1774 - 1792. FIRST EDITION of volumes 2, 4, 5, and 6. 6 volumes. 8vo, 217 x 136 mms., pp. x, xi [xii blank], 678; xi [xii blank], 588; xv [xvi blank], 466; xli [xlii Errata], 463 [464 blank]; xxxi [xxxii blank], 471 [472 blank, 473 Errata and notice to binder]; lii [liii Errata, liv blank], 473 [474 blank], with volumes 4, 5, and 6 printed in half-sheets, contemporary polished calf (probably Scottish), spines richly gilt, red and green morocco labels, bindings almost uniform except for the first three volumes lettered in Roman and the last three in Arabic numerals and minor variations in tools; spines slightly rubbed, heavier to volume 1 with lettering indistinct and a few chips, but a handsome set, with the early 19th century autograph of "Joseph [?W L] Shirreff" on the front paste-down end-paper and the small armorial bookplate, in the shape of a balloon with motto "Justitia" at the top, with "J. L. Shirreff" underneath on the front paste-down end-paper For the record, here are the imprints in volumes 2 - 6: volume 2, Edinburgh: Printed for J. Balfour...And T. Cadell..., 1774; volume 3: London: Printed for T. Cadell...and J. Balfour, Edinburgh, 1786; volume 4: Edinburgh: Printed for J. Bell, Edinburgh and T. Cadell..., 1787; volume 5: Edinburgh: Printed for J. Bell...and T. Cadell..., 1789; volume 6: Edinburgh: Printed for Bell & Bradfute...and T. Cadell..., 1792. A portrait was added to some copies, but it is not "called for." The fullest account of Monboddo's work on language is found in Iain Maxwell Hammett's Ph. D. dissertation (1985), "Lord Monboddo's Of the origin and progress of language: its sources, genesis and background, with special attention to the Advocates' Library." In his Oxford DNB entry on Monboddo, Dr. Hammett writes, "Essentially an attack on Locke's fashionable theory of ideas as the source of scepticism and materialism in Hume and the French Enlightenment, Monboddo's work was recognized in France, Italy, and Germany. It was translated in part into German by E. A. Schmidt (1784–6) and praised by J. G. von Herder, who attributed the British notices of the first volume to a conspiracy in defence of Locke. British criticisms, which included vicious attacks in the Edinburgh Magazine and Review (1773–6) and in Dissertations: Moral and Critical (1783) by his friend James Beattie, culminated in John Horne Tooke's Lockian assault on Monboddo and Harris in The Diversions of Purley (1786). A century later, the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1875–89) found neo-Kantianism implicit in Monboddo's 'intimate knowledge of Greek philosophy' and Darwinism in 'His idea of studying man as one of the animals, and of collecting facts about savage tribes to throw light on the problems of civilisation.'" Alston records that volumes I and III were reprinted as a "second" edition in 1774 and 1786 as the publishers discovered that they had not printed a sufficient number. Some copies have mixed sets accordingly.
      [Bookseller: John Price Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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