Epea pteroenta. Or, the diversions of Purley. JOHN HORNE TOOKE.
Epea pteroenta. Or, the diversions of Purley.
Epea pteroenta. Or, the diversions of Purley.

Epea pteroenta. Or, the diversions of Purley.

London: printed for the author, 1798-1805. Second (i.e. first complete and best) edition, 4to, 2 vols., pp. [8], 534; [8], 516, [36]; frontis and engraved plate, contemporary diced calf, rebacked in late 19th century brown morocco, gilt lettered direct on spine; Athenaeum Library release stamps on title-p., gilt supralibros of the Athenaeum Library on the upper covers, library marks in gutters of the upper covers (not visible if shelved); edges worn; a good copy. Chapters include those on the division or distribution of languages, Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, etymology, various parts of speech and assorted philosophical topics. Tooke, the well known philologist and political agitator, published the first part of his great work in 1786, the second volume not appearing until 1805. "As a philologist Horne Tooke deserves credit for seeing the necessity of studying Gothic and Anglo-Saxon, and learnt enough to be far in advance of Johnson in that direction... His philology was meant to subserve a characteristic philosophy. Locke, he said, had made a happy mistake when he called his book an essay upon human understanding, instead of an essay upon grammar..." (DNB). "Tooke was a political radical, his stance was ideological, and he drew heavily on French 18th century writings on language. It was clear even to his contemporaries that many of the etymologies were wrong, but in spite of these errors such important figures as Erasmus Darwin, Coleridge, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and Hazlitt were still greatly impressed by Tooke's accomplishment and soundness of his system. There could be no doubt that Tooke's work remained the pivot of controversy through the middle of the nineteenth century" (Aarslef, p. vii). Kennedy 353; Alston III, 854. Item #30883

Price: $375.00

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