The Book of Job translated from the Hebrew. With a Preface and Annotations by the Rev. F. Randolph, D.D.
Bath: Richard Cruttwell, 1810. 8vo, (4), xv, 188 (i.e. 206)pp. Early calf, black label lettered in gilt, backstrip neatly repaired, a very good copy. First edition by the unsung genius Elizabeth Smith: Aside from a governess who taught her French and a little Italian, from six to eight years of age and again from ten to twelve, Smith was largely self-taught. In 1789 she became governess to her siblings and began an influential friendship with Henrietta Maria Bowdler. In 1794 she began learning Arabic and Persian from her brother's oriental dictionary; in 1796 she studied Hebrew from a Bible belonging to Henrietta Bowdler's mother. Between 1795 and 1799 she learned Spanish, German, Arabic, Persian, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, some Syriac, and Erse, as well as music, mathematics, and astronomy. Biblical translations by women are very rare in general -- this book, though not rare, is of importance in that genre and it would be pleasant to imagine that she might have met William Blake who at this time was also teaching himself Hebrew in order to publish his Illustrations of the Book of Job.
(Item Id: 106810)