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RAY, John.

A Collection of English Words not Generally used,

with their Significations and Original, in two Alphabetical Catalogues, the one of such as are proper to the Northern, the other to the Southern Counties. With Catalogues of English Birds and Fishes: And an Account of the preparing and refining such Metals and Minerals as are gotten in England.

London: by H. Bruges for Tho. Burrell, 1674 Stock Code: 90721
£2,750.00
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First edition, "the earliest attempt to gather, interpret and discuss the remnants of older and local language as a contribution not only to the better understanding of the provincial communities, but to those antiquarian studies which were leading men to a knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic tongues" (Raven). This copy of the issue with a comma after "words" in the title but no comma after "Ray"; "Birds" and "Fishes" in the title are printed in red; according to ESTC, this is the scarcer of the two issues. John Ray (1627-1705), "the son of a blacksmith, became one of England's greatest naturalists. He was pre-eminently a botanist (he originated the division of plants into monocotyledons and dicotyledons), but also took up the unfinished ornithological work of his friend Francis Willughby... He also published A Collection of English Proverbs (1670) and was keenly interested in philology" (Oxford Companion to English Literature, fifth edition).

With some interesting neat contemporary marginalia to F1r (adding the word "Fell" and the meaning "Mountain or high hill, North Country" and at G1r "Wad: black lead. North C. In Cumberland where the best is produced it is called also Killans".

Confused? Read our glossary

Description

Octavo (146 x 86 mm). Contemporary unlettered speckled sheep, flat spine with double blind rules, covers with double blind rule border and thistle cornerpieces, blind edge roll, red speckled edges.

Illustrations

Title printed in red and black, woodcut initials.

Condition

Extremities of spine chipped, lower joint split at head, wear to corners, front pastedown lifted, prelims lightly soiled yet still an attractive copy in a period binding, without the initial blank [A1] but with the final blank [L4] (although largely torn away).

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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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