A Dictionary, Persian, Arabic, and English. Published under the patronage of the Honourable East-India Company.
by JOHNSON, Francis E. (1796?-1876).
London:: Wm. H. Allen, 1852., 1852. Printed by W.M. Watts, London. 4to. 1,420 pp. Printed in triple columns. Title and final leaf with edge wear. Original half black calf, publisher's cloth, five raised bands, blind-and gilt-stamped spine; extremities worn, with kozo repairs. Bookplate of the Gladstone Library – National Liberal Club, small rubber-stamps of the National Liberal Club (founded by Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1882). RARE. Second, vastly enlarged and revised edition – CONSIDERED THE BEST EDITION: originally the compilation of Meninski pioneered lexicography and Persian Farsi. His work was based upon native lexicons, and amplified and corrected from the same. This book of Johnson was at first a complete revision of John Richardson's dictionary, issued in Oxford, 1777-1780. It was revised and improved by Charles Wilkins, 1806-1810. Subsequently a new edition, considerably enlarged, by Johnson, was printed in 1829. SCHOLARS CONSIDER THIS 1852 BOOK SO IMPORTANT AND WITH SO MUCH NEW MATERIAL THAT IT IS A NEW BOOK. Regarding Richardson's folio Johnson offers the following comment, "It was inconvenient in size, bring printed in folio, with an ungraceful oriental type, and it was very defective in its stock and choice of words. It was little else than an abridgement of the Oriental Thesaurus of MENINSKI, printed in four folio volumes at Vienna in 1680, effected by omitting the Turkish words incorporated in that collection, and by putting together words of similar sound, but of different significations, and sometimes of different etymology . . . Richardson made some additions to his text, chiefly from the lexicons of GOLIUS and CASTELLUS. . ." At least one other issue is touched on: that of price – the new edition was produced at a third of the price of Richardson's treatise. He compliments the press of Watts, responsible for this edition. "The [dictionary] by Mr. Richardson and Sir Charles Wilkins, is the acknowledged groundwork of the author's labours." "JOHNSON, FRANCIS (1796?–1876), orientalist, spent much time in early manhood in Italy, where he applied himself to the study of oriental languages, and learned Arabic from an Arab. In March 1818 he left Rome in company with Charles (afterwards Sir Charles) Barry, Charles (afterwards Sir Charles) Lock Eastlake, and Kinnaird, an architect, for Athens. After studying antiquities there till June, Johnson and Barry travelled overland to Constantinople, but they parted in August, Johnson returning to Italy, while Barry pursued his travels in Egypt (Lady Eastlake, Memoir of C. L. Eastlake, p. 72; Barry, Sir Charles Barry, pp. 25 sq.). In 1824 Johnson was appointed to the chair of Sanskrit, Bengali, and Telugu in the East India Company's college at Haileybury. He resigned his chair in 1855, was married in 1857, and died at Hertford on 29 Jan. 1876. "THE GREAT WORK OF JOHNSON'S LIFE WAS HIS 'PERSIAN DICTIONARY." On its first publication in 1829 it was described as the third edition of Richardson's dictionary. It contained, however, much original matter, especially in respect of the Arabic element in Persian. In 1852 Johnson published a revised and much extended edition under his own name alone. This work is by far the most important contribution to Persian lexicography in any European language. Compound words are treated with especial completeness. Johnson also edited the 'Gulist?n' of Sa'di (1863), while in Sanskrit he re-edited, with the addition of a vocabulary and a collation of new manuscripts, H. H. Wilson's text and translation of the 'Meghad?ta' (1867). His well-known selections from the 'Mah?bh?rata' (1842) and his 'Hitopade?a,' London, 1840, 4to (subsequent editions 1847, 1848, and 1864), have long proved very useful to English beginners in the study of Sanskrit." – [Hertfordshire Mercury, 12 Feb. 1876; Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, new ser. vol. ix., Report for 1876; Johnson's Works.]. DNB – 1885-1900, Volume 30. For a dialog on some other titles written by Johnson, see: Raja Lahiani, Eastern Luminaries Disclosed to Western Eyes: A Critical ... – (2008), page 51. REFERENCES: Locations: Aberdeen, Birmingham, British Library, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Liverpool, National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, London Library, London School of Economics, National Library of Scotland Newcastle, Oxford, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), Trinity College Dublin.
(Inventory #: LLV1879)
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