11 - 13 July 2000
[JOHNSON, Samuel (1709-1784)]. The Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language, addressed to the Right Honourable Philip Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield. London: for J. and P. Knapton, T. Longman and T. Shewell, C. Hitch, A. Millar, and R. Dodsley, 1747.
4° (259 x 194mm). (Occasional light spots.) Early 20th-century blue half morocco, spine with longitudinal title between two raised bands and decorations in gilt, red speckled edges (slight staining on covers).
FIRST EDITION, second state.Johnson drafted 'A Short Scheme for compiling a new Dictionary of the English Language' in April, 1746, and sent it to a reader who was probably his close friend, Dr. John Taylor. The "Scheme" was enlarged into the "Plan" at some point during the winter of 1746-47. Johnson then had a copy made and sent to at least five readers who included Taylor and Lord Chesterfield. More revisions followed at proof stage before the work was published in early August, 1747. The edition includes two different settings of signature A and two different states of E1v. This is the non-Chesterfield issue with the words 'My Lord' replacing the address to Lord Chesterfield on A1r; it retains the duplication of 'the' before 'mazes' on E1v. Courtney & Smith 20; Chapman & Hazen p. 13; Fleeman I, p. 143; Rothschild 1228; Sledd & Kolb pp. 78-84.
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