Les origines de la langue françoise. MENAGE, GILLES.
Les origines de la langue françoise

Les origines de la langue françoise

Paris: Augustin Courbé, 1650. First edition of the first French etymological dictionary, reprinted in 1694 in an enlarged edition in folio, and again in 1750 in 2 volumes folio; 4to, pp. [16], xxxviii, [2], 845, [1], [28] indexes, approbation, and errata; engraved vignette title page after Picart; 19th century quarter brown calf over marbled boards; edges rubbed and a bit worn, but in all a good, sound copy. Menage (1613-1692), "a man of vast erudition and keen intuition," was one of the few in his day who had first hand knowledge of Old French and the early stages of other Romance languages (which he had gleaned from his studies of law and early legal documents) and was uniquely qualified to carry out such an etymological undertaking. But his sarcasm lead to his expulsion from the French Academy; he had many enemies and suffered under the satire of Moliere and Boileau (see Holmes, History of the French Language, 1938, p. 90; and Ency. Brit., 11th ed). Item #42884

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