"SOME METHOD SHOULD BE THOUGHT OF FOR ASCERTAINING AND FIXING OUR LANGUAGE FOR EVER": RARE FIRST EDITION OF JONATHAN SWIFT'S A PROPOSAL FOR CORRECTING, IMPROVING AND ASCERTAINING THE ENGLISH TONGUE, 1712
SWIFT, Jonathan. A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue; in a Letter to the Most Honourable Robert Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain. London: Printed for Benj. Tooke, 1712. Very slim octavo, modern full brown morocco; pp. 48. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First edition of Swift's satirical proposal for permanently fixing the English language.
"In 1712, the English language, according to satirist Jonathan Swift, was in chaos. He outlined his complaints in this public letter to Robert Harley, leader of the government, proposing the appointment of experts to advise on English use. The model was to be based on that of the Académie Française, which had been regulating French since 1634. His proposal, like all the others, came to nothing. To this day no official regulation of the English language exists" (British Library). With the scarce half title. Teerink 577.
Very slight embrowning, a few small stains to interior, two corners torn but only affecting page number on p. 48, binding fine. Rare.