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The new English dictionary, or complete library of grammatical knowledge:
London: printed for P. Williams,, 1792. containing a full and copious explanation of all the words in the English language,... To which is prefixed a copious grammar of the English language.... Carefully collected and digested,... By Samuel Johnson. A new edition. 2 volumes bound in one, quarto (257 × 210 mm). Rebound to style in half calf, black morocco label, double gilt rules either side of raised bands, marbled endpapers. Printed in double column, unpaginated; with 7pp. list of subscribers at the end. Ownership inscription of Thomas Puckle, dated 7 Feb 1814, at head of title. Very occasional light browning or foxing, a good copy. First edition thus, an extraordinary piece of Paternoster Row piracy. This dictionary was first published as The New Royal English Dictionary; or, Complete Library of Grammatical Knowledge in 1780, when authorship was ascribed to one Rev. Charles Marriott (who wrote nothing else and is more than likely a pseudonym). The publisher of the 1780 edition was Joseph Wenman, of 144 Fleet Street, who appears to have been an associate of Harrison & Co, the Paternoster Row publishers who issued a pirated edition of Johnson's dictionary in 1786. This edition is a straight reissue of the 1780 sheets (the text is still headed The New Royal English Dictionary), with a new general title altered by the omission of the word "Royal" and the bold-faced assertion that the dictionary is by Samuel Johnson, which it is not. The list of subscribers at the end is repeated from the 1780 edition and contains some suspiciously grand names for a book aimed at the lower end of the market. "P. Williams" does not appear in the checklist of London book trade members in the Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History, nor in ESTC, and seems to be another straightforward imposture. Rare: Alston cites the Mary Hyde copy; ESTC locates only Indiana State University worldwide.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2018-02-15           Check availability:      Biblio    


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