7 December 2015
WEBSTER, Noah (1758-1843). An American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Hezekiah Howe, New Haven for S. Converse, 1828.
2 volumes, 4° (286 x 231 mm). Engraved portrait frontispiece. (Some light spotting or staining.) Original gilt- and blind-tooled sheep, flat spines gilt with two red morocco lettering-pieces gilt (some overall rubbing or minor peeling, joints starting, a few stains); green cloth folding cases, green morocco lettering-pieces gilt.
FIRST EDITION of the quarto unabridged dictionary (preceded by the Compendious Dictionary, 1806, with its abridgement for schools, 1807). Grolier American 36 ("The most ambitious publication ever undertaken, up to that time, upon American soil"); Sabin 102335; PMM 291 ("Webster's great dictionary, all the 70,000 entries of which he wrote with his own hand... marked a definite advance in modern lexicography, as it included many non-literary terms and paid great attention to the language actually spoken... Webster succeeded in breaking the fetters imposed upon American English by Dr. Johnson, to the ultimate benefit of the living languages of both countries.")
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