A Dictionary of the English Language: In Which the Words are Deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers...the Fourth Edition, Revised by the Author.
London: Printed by W. Strahan, For W. Strahan, J. & F. Rivington...MDCCLXXIII (1773) 2 vols., folio, 580 leaves; 592 leaves; title printed in red and black. Rebacked contemporary tree calf, five raised bands, backstrip with red and black morocco labels with titling stamped in gilt. Board edges somewhat rubbed, minor scattered foxing and shelfwear, two separate ink signatures to title-page; very good. Fourth edition and final folio edition to be revised by Johnson. Strahan drew up his printing account for 1,250 copies of this edition. This edition comprises the culmination of all of Johnsons work and revisions during his lifetime, and has the most textual value, as he echoes in the advertisement for this edition, Perfection is unattainable, but nearer and nearer approaches may be made; and finding my Dictionary about to be reprinted, I have endeavored, by a revisal, to make it less reprehensible. I will not deny that I found many parts requiring emendation, and many more capable of improvement. Many faults I have corrected, some superfluities I have taken away, and some deficiencies I have supplied. I have methodified some parts that were disordered, and illuminated some that were obscure. Johnsons Dictionary was viewed as the prominent dictionary of its time, and the foremost on the English language until the Oxford English Dictionary was published almost 200 years later. Unlike most modern dictionaries Johnson included humor and prejudice into many definitions: "Oats. n.s. [aten, Saxon.] A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." Fleeman 55.4D/4a.
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