Anniversary Essays on Johnson's Dictionary

Overview

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, the first great English dictionary and one of the most famous books in the English language, appeared in April 1755. To commemorate the 250th anniversary, this volume brings together fourteen original essays by international scholars representing several disciplines: literature, lexicology, linguistics and bibliography. The essays explore familiar and unfamiliar aspects of Johnson's masterpiece, ranging from the history of patronage to the book's typographical ...
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Overview

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, the first great English dictionary and one of the most famous books in the English language, appeared in April 1755. To commemorate the 250th anniversary, this volume brings together fourteen original essays by international scholars representing several disciplines: literature, lexicology, linguistics and bibliography. The essays explore familiar and unfamiliar aspects of Johnson's masterpiece, ranging from the history of patronage to the book's typographical design, from the political background to the treatment of compound words. Challenging the myths surrounding the book and offering the most comprehensive and wide-ranging study of the Dictionary ever attempted, these essays present fresh scholarship on the Dictionary and open up novel perspectives and directions for future research.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this volume elegantly surveys current assessments of Johnson's imposing and critically challenging work and offers hints for future critical inquiry. All the essays are cogent, persuasively argued, and well documented... Admirers of Johnson's enduring lexicographical intervention will find here a work that omits little and offers a great deal. Summing Up: Essential."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521848442
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Lynch is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University.

Anne McDermott is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Birmingham.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of contributors; List of abbreviations and cue-titles; Introduction Jack Lynch and Anne McDermott; 1. The mythology of Johnson's Dictionary Paul J. Korshin; 2. Dictionaries and power from Palsgrave to Johnson Ian Lancashire; 3. What Johnson's illustrative quotations illustrate: language and viewpoint in the Dictionary Howard D. Weinbrot; 4. Reassessing the political context of the Dictionary: Johnson and the 'Broad-bottom' opposition Nicholas Hudson; 5. Johnson's extempore history and grammar of the English language Robert DeMaria Jr; 6. Johnson the prescriptivist? The case for the prosecution Geoff Barnbrook; 7. Johnson the prescriptivist? The case for the defense Anne McDermott; 8. Johnson's encyclopedia Jack Lynch; 9. The law, the alphabet, and Samuel Johnson John Stone; 10. Hyphenated compounds in Johnson's Dictionary Noel E. Osselton; 11. The typographic design of Johnson's Dictionary Paul Luna; 12. The Dictionary in abstract: Johnson's abridgements of the Dictionary of the English Language for the common reader Catherine Dille; 13. Revision and the limits of collaboration: hands and texts in Johnson's Dictionary Allen Reddick; 14. Hidden quarto editions of Johnson's Dictionary R. Carter Hailey; General index; Index of Dictionary entries.
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