9 June 2004
PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
[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.
4o (248 x 194 mm). Later marbled wrappers; cloth folding case.
FIRST EDITION, second state without the Earl of Chesterfield's name on A1 and with a single "the" before "mazes" on E1v. 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. Courtney & Smith 20; Chapman & Hazen, p.13; Fleeman I, p.143; Rothschild 1228; Sledd & Kolb, pp.78-84.
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