London: J.Phillips, Rhodes, J. Taylor, 1706. Sixth edition. Hardcover. Small folio. Unpaginated. 711 pages. Rebound in modern 3/4 red morocco with gilt-stamped ruling and motifs, over marbled paper boards. Spine with gilt lettering, ruling and raised bands. Edges of the book block in red. Full page copperplate-engraved frontispiece.
This work an English dictionary originally published in 1658 and compiled by Edward Phillips, the nephew of acclaimed English poet John Milton. It was the first folio-sized English dictionary ever published. The work went through five editions during Phillips' lifetime, and by the time of his death, it had expanded from the original 11,000 entries to include about 17,000. In 1706, this sixth "revised corrected and improved" edition was compiled by John Kersey* and expanded even further to include about 38,000 entries. It is known that Phillips had plagiarized at least half of his entries in the original edition from Thomas Blount's "Glossographia" (1656).
The frontispiece engraving contains images of Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and portraits of prominent English scholars and literary figures (including Chaucer, Spencer, Sidney and Bacon) surrounding the image of a globe, and is dated 1696; obviously taken from the previous edition of the book. The text of the dictionary is arranged in a two column format, with the first two letters of the words at the top of each column. The text of the final leaf is reproduced in the form of a manuscript.
Interior with frontispiece repaired along the bottom left edge, with images almost entirely unaffected. Sporadic light foxing and water stains to the pages throughout. Book block tight. Binding in fine, interior in very good condition overall. vg to fine. Item #44173
* Edward Phillips (1630 – 1696) was an English author and lexicographer. Phillips and his brother John (also a writer) were initially educated by their uncle, the acclaimed English poet John Milton. He went on to be educated at Oxford but soon left to peruse work in the book selling business.
*John Kersey, the younger (fl. 1720) was an English philologist and lexicographer. He is notable for his work on three historically important English dictionaries of the early 18th century, "A New English Dictionary" (1702), this revised version of Edward Phillips' "The New World of English Words" (1706) and the "Dictionarium Anglo-Britannicum" (1708).