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RUSSEL, William P.
Verbotomy: or, the anatomy of words; shewing their component parts: being an elegant specimen of what may be accomplished in the arrangement of language: whereby more scientific knowledge of its principles may be attained, in a short time, than from any work hitherto printed. Such, at least, is the opinion of W.P. Russel, verbotomist; or, word-dissector.
[London]: sold by the author, wherever his habitation may happen to be. At present it is no.23, Maiden-Lane, Covent-Garden, 1805.
47, [1], 60, 15, [7] p., fold. letterpress table : tables ; 22.6 cm. (8º)

Preceded by an added title-page reading: 'Verbotomy: Or A classical improved Vocabulary, And Self-Interpeting Spelling-Book, Of The English Language. Arranged In A Different Manner From Every preceding Writer; ... Price Five Shillings.'. The initial dedication 'To Nobody; Trusting, to the Merits of the Work, For Public Patronage' (p. [5], first series) is signed in manuscript with the monogram WPR. In the Soane copy the foot of the title-page has been excised, doubtless by the author as in Soane's copies of his Appendix, to candid thoughts, 1814 (q.v.) and Suggestions for the Prince-Regent of the British Empire; ... By Gulielmus Cambrensis, 1814 (q.v.), to remove the imprint as well as the printer's statement of George Sidney from the verso; details are supplied from the copy at Glasgow University Library. Also excised are Sidney's imprint at the foot of the final dedication 'To Those Conductors of Schools ...' on the verso of the penultimate leaf of 'Final Observations' (where the excision is repaired by a slip of paper), and the printer's statement of W. Glindon at the foot of p. [16] (third series). The imprint of W. Glindon under the caption title of 'A Final Sheet, Explanatory of Matters omitted in the Preface; And Declaratory of future Intentions' (p. [1], third series) is also inked out. The final leaf contains observations and an index to 'Mr. Nares's work on Orthoepy', i.e. Robert Nares, Elements of orthoepy, 1784. The printing of this work evidently exceeded Russel's means due to the costs of printing the 'Adjectiviad' and 'Substantiviad' tables which form the second section (pp. 1--60), and he was obliged to interrupt its production prematurely for want of money having printed only 22 of the 28 classes of adjectives and verbs set out in the general index, as he explains in the 'Final Sheet' (15, [3] pp.) which is inserted between the final page of tables (leaf I2) and the 'Final Observations' (leaf I3). Instead, a copy of another pamphlet of 1804 (presumably Russel's An elegant specimen of the verbotomical spelling-book, 1804) was to be annexed, but is not (and indeed may never have been) in Soane's library.

Copy Notes Pasted inside the back cover is a folded letterpress table (56.0 x 38.5 cm) with caption title 'A Radical Table Of Words, Which Is Peculiarly Comprehensive, And Perspicuous, ...', signed in manuscript with the monogram WPR, and with the imprint line excised and repaired by a slip of paper, originally issued with Russel's earlier publication Multum in parvo, or, a brief display of more than a thousand errors in each of the undermentioned writers: ..., 1801.

Binding Publisher's original C19th grey paper boards, white paper spine-cover, ink-lettered '- Verbotomy -', author's printed advertisement attached to upper cover.

Reference Number 4577


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