By Henry Hitchings
By the early eighteenth century, France and Italy had striking lexicons, yet there has been no authoritative dictionary of English. Sensing the deficit, and impelled by way of a mix of nationwide delight and advertisement expedience, the prodigious polymath Samuel Johnson embraced the duty, turning over the garret of his London domestic to the construction of his personal substantial dictionary.
Johnson imagined that he may well entire the activity in 3 years. however the complexity of English intended that his estimate was once wildly insufficient. in simple terms after he had expended approximately a decade of his major at the job did the dictionary ultimately seem - magisterial but quirky, dogmatic yet beneficiant of spirit, and steeped within the richness of English literature. it will become obvious because the most vital British cultural monument of the eighteenth century, and its effect fanned out throughout Europe and all through Britain's colonies - together with, crucially, America.
Brilliantly enjoyable and enlightening, Defining the World is the tale of Johnson's heroic activity, 250 years after the 1st book of the Dictionary. In alphabetically sequenced chapters, Henry Hitchings describes Johnson's event - his ambition and imaginative and prescient, his moments of melancholy, the errors he made alongside the best way, and his final triumph.
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Additional resources for Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson's Dictionary
Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson's Dictionary by Henry Hitchings