Memoir of Richard Roberts Jones, of Aberdaron, in the County of Carnarvon, in North Wales; exhibiting a Remarkable Instance of a Partial Power and Cultivation of Intellect.
London: Cadell and Arch, 1822. Slim 8vo, (4), 50pp. With a portrait frontispiece (quite foxed). Original boards rebacked, new label. First edition of this fascinating account of a great eccentric. Jones, who was horribly mistreated by his father, demonstrated an extraordinary ability to master languages, especially Hebrew, Chaldaic, Aramaic, Greek, and the romance languages; interestingly, he had much trouble with English which he never spoke well. His utter neglect of himself and his appearance gave him no opportunity to increase his learning and have a position in the world even though he had compiled a Welsh-Greek-Hebrew Dictionary that was never published. Instead he wandered with books concealed all over his body in his clothing, singing, playing instruments, and speaking foreign languages. Roscoe and some friends published this account of his life to try and raise funds for his improvement. It is a rare and interesting book. DNB gives an account of his life largely based on this book.
(Item Id: 5204)