Wilkins’ real characters (1668).An engraved table of characters from John Wilkins’ famous work on universal language, entitled An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language (London: Printed for SA:  Gellibrand, and for John Martin printer to the Royal Society, 1668), included discussions of myriad languages.
"At the bottom of this Table there is an Inftance of the Lords Prayer, being lettered fuitably to our prefent pronuntiation of it." [ p. 377, original spellings and capitalization preserved]

Wilkins’ real characters (1668).

An engraved table of characters from John Wilkins’ famous work on universal language, entitled An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language (London: Printed for SA:  Gellibrand, and for John Martin printer to the Royal Society, 1668), included discussions of myriad languages.

"At the bottom of this Table there is an Inftance of the Lords Prayer, being lettered fuitably to our prefent pronuntiation of it." [ p. 377, original spellings and capitalization preserved]

In memory of Lord Byron (1819).

Lord Byron died on this day, April 19th, 1824. Seeking a respite from turmoil in his personal life, Byron moved to Venice in 1816. Soon after his arrival, he occupied himself with learning the Armenian language and studied under the tutelage of Father Paschal Aucher of the island Monastery of Saint Lazarus (San Lazzaro degli Armeni). His relationship with Aucher and the other monks, who’s learning he admired, evolved quickly and Byron soon became involved in the production of two grammars that were underway. The first was an English grammar in Armenian, entitled Grammar, English and Armenian (Venice: Printed at the Press of the Armenian Academy, 1817), which Byron financed, promoted through his publisher, and supplied some modest support to the English translations. The second was the book pictured here, an Armenian grammar in English entitled A Grammar, Armenian and English (Venice: Printed at the Press of the Armenian Academy, 1819), to which Byron is thought to have supplied several translations of Armenian poems. Byron is not named in the publication, but a thoughtful owner of this particular copy supplied the story of Byron’s role in manuscript on a single leaf bound into the book. Pictured is the the two title pages included with the book, the manuscript leaf, and a detail of page 17 of the text.

Fragment of a family trip (1773). This neatly penned little note is a list of passengers on a four-horse coach leaving Casale (likely Casale Monferrato in the Piedmont region of Italy) for Genoa on April 27, 1773. Listed is a family group consisting of a noblewoman, her three daughters, their chambermaid and a man described as “her chamber-man” (most likely the lady’s servant). The note was found pressed between the pages of György Kalmár’s Precetti di grammatica per la lingua filosofica (Rome: Nella stamperia di Paolo Giunchi, 1773), a rare treatise on universal language.

Fragment of a family trip (1773).

This neatly penned little note is a list of passengers on a four-horse coach leaving Casale (likely Casale Monferrato in the Piedmont region of Italy) for Genoa on April 27, 1773. Listed is a family group consisting of a noblewoman, her three daughters, their chambermaid and a man described as “her chamber-man” (most likely the lady’s servant). The note was found pressed between the pages of György Kalmár’s Precetti di grammatica per la lingua filosofica (Rome: Nella stamperia di Paolo Giunchi, 1773), a rare treatise on universal language.

Some familiar characters parading down the page in Wilkins’ work on universal language (1668).
John Wilkins’ famous work on universal language, entitled An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language (London: Printed for SA:  Gellibrand, and for John Martin printer to the Royal Society, 1668), included discussions of myriad languages.

Some familiar characters parading down the page in Wilkins’ work on universal language (1668).

John Wilkins’ famous work on universal language, entitled An essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language (London: Printed for SA:  Gellibrand, and for John Martin printer to the Royal Society, 1668), included discussions of myriad languages.

Sinner, Sip, Sir, Sirloin, Sister (1876).
Learning Burmese from missionary William Hill Sloan’s book, A practical method with the Burmese language (Rangoon: Office of the American Mission Press, 1876), meant focusing on vocabulary. Before heading off to Burma as a Baptist missionary, Sloan served in the 17th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment for the duration of the American Civil War.

Sinner, Sip, Sir, Sirloin, Sister (1876).

Learning Burmese from missionary William Hill Sloan’s book, A practical method with the Burmese language (Rangoon: Office of the American Mission Press, 1876), meant focusing on vocabulary. Before heading off to Burma as a Baptist missionary, Sloan served in the 17th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment for the duration of the American Civil War.

A fly leaf, in more ways than one (1751).
A fly (or bee?) imbedded in the fly leaf of Christoph Saur ‘s Eine nutzliche anweisung oder beyhulfe vor die Teutschen um Englisch zu lernen… Nebst einer grammatic, … (Germantown: Christoph Saur, 1751). Written in German, this one of the earliest English grammars printed in America. More pictures to come.

A fly leaf, in more ways than one (1751).

A fly (or bee?) imbedded in the fly leaf of Christoph Saur ‘s Eine nutzliche anweisung oder beyhulfe vor die Teutschen um Englisch zu lernen… Nebst einer grammatic, … (Germantown: Christoph Saur, 1751). Written in German, this one of the earliest English grammars printed in America. More pictures to come.