Focalóir Gaoidhilge-Sax-Bhéarla or An Irish-English Dictionary. Whereof the Irish part hath been compiled not only from various Irish vocabularies, particularly that of Mr. Edward Lluyd; but also from a great variety of the best Irish manuscripts now extant; especially those that have been composed from the 9th & 10th centuries, down to the 16th: besides those of the lives of St. Patrick & St Brigit, written in the 6th & 7th centuries. John O'Brien.
Focalóir Gaoidhilge-Sax-Bhéarla or An Irish-English Dictionary. Whereof the Irish part hath been compiled not only from various Irish vocabularies, particularly that of Mr. Edward Lluyd; but also from a great variety of the best Irish manuscripts now extant; especially those that have been composed from the 9th & 10th centuries, down to the 16th: besides those of the lives of St. Patrick & St Brigit, written in the 6th & 7th centuries

Focalóir Gaoidhilge-Sax-Bhéarla or An Irish-English Dictionary. Whereof the Irish part hath been compiled not only from various Irish vocabularies, particularly that of Mr. Edward Lluyd; but also from a great variety of the best Irish manuscripts now extant; especially those that have been composed from the 9th & 10th centuries, down to the 16th: besides those of the lives of St. Patrick & St Brigit, written in the 6th & 7th centuries

Paris: printed by Nicolas-Francis Valleyre, for the Author, 1768. By Royal Approbation & Privilege. First edition, likely the first of two issues; 4to, pp. [ii], xlvii, [1], vii, [1], 514, [6] errata and dedication; contemporary full calf neatly rebacked, new red morocco label; the occasional very mild waterstain, but in all a fine, crisp copy. In this issue "Finis" is on p.514 and ’Voici l’extrait’ is not included. In another (later?) issue is inserted ’Voici l’extrait inséré dans le Journal des sçavans du mois de Mars 1769’. John O’Brien (d.1767), lexicographer, was born in Ballyvoddy, near Glanworth, County Cork, the son of Thomas O’Brien, a farmer, and his wife, Eleanor McEniry. His parents, both of good descent, were well connected both at home and on the continent. By 1720 he had already left for France to study for the priesthood, principally at the Irish College in Toulouse. At the University of Toulouse he graduated bachelor of divinity in 1733, being already a doctor of both civil and canon law. From 1733 to 1737 he travelled widely in France and Spain as tutor to the sons of several aristocratic Irish expatriates, namely Simon Connock, governor in the Spanish service; Thomas Fitzgerald, the Spanish ambassador in London; and Arthur Dillon, lieutenant-general in the Irish brigade. O’Brien wrote a treatise on the history of Munster, thought to have been that published by Charles Vallancey under his own name in the fourth volume of his Collectanea in 1774. With the help of a scholar named Ó Conaire he also compiled the manuscript generally known as the ‘Dublin Annals of Inisfallen’. His great work, however, was as general editor of an Irish dictionary, Focalóir Gaoidhilge–Sax-Bhéarla, or, An Irish–English Dictionary, compiled by other scholars under his supervision before 1762, and eventually printed at Paris in 1768. This too was intended to help the church, for O’Brien believed that the preservation of the faith in Ireland depended essentially on the preservation of the native language. Inspired by the works of Edward Lluyd and Conor O’Begly, he drew on earlier compilations but omitted several thousand words then in use. His dictionary contains valuable historical and genealogical information and useful definitions, but is marred by fanciful etymologies and a lack of grammatical detail. Partly because of ill health and partly to escape the powerful Nagle family, protectors of a dissolute priest accused of using the confessional to seduce female tenants of the Nagles, O’Brien left Ireland forever in the summer of 1767. Having first made his way to Paris to oversee the printing of his dictionary in 1768, he died the following year at Lyons, where he was buried in the church of St Martin d’Ainay. Alston XIV, 49; not in Vancil; Zaunmuller, col. 190 and noting a second edition done in 1832. Item #58679

Price: $3,500.00

See all items in Dictionaries, Language
See all items by