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A Dictionary of the English Language:
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JOHNSON, Samuel.

A Dictionary of the English Language:

in which The Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the best Writers. To which are prefixed, A History of the Language, and An English Grammar.

Published: London: by W. Strahan, for J. and P. Knapton; T. and T. Longman; C. Hitch and L. Hawes; A. Millar; and R. and J. Dodsley, 1755

Stock code: 72604

Price: £14,500

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First edition 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).

2 volumes, folio (415 257 mm). Sometime rebound to style in half calf, red and black morocco labels, raised bands, old marbled paper sides. Paper restoration at lower margin and upper inner corner of first title leaf and at top margin of second leaf, sporadic minor browning; front free endpaper of Volume I loose. A good copy.

Bibliography: Courtney and Smith p. 54; Chapman & Hazen p. 137; Fleeman 55.4D/1a; Printing and the Mind of Man 201; Rothschild 1237.

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