“THE WELSH LANGUAGE IS POSSESSED OF NATIVE ORNAMENTS AND UNBORROWED TREASURES”
WALTERS, John. An English and Welsh Dictionary… Denbigh: Thomas Gee, 1828. Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary full navy straight-grain morocco gilt, raised bands, pink watered silk endpapers. $1250.
Third edition, “corrected and improved,” of the Reverend Walters’ significant dictionary, which includes “many new [Welsh] words… still used today,” dedication copy inscribed by the publisher in both volumes to the work’s patron, Welsh copper magnate and philanthropist William Lewis Hughes, Lord Dinorben, handsomely bound in contemporary morocco-gilt.
A Church of England cleric as well as a lexicographer, Walters is best remembered for his important English–Welsh Dictionary, first published in 15 parts between 1770-94. "Walters had obtained the manuscript of William Gambold's unpublished English–Welsh dictionary and used it in compiling his own work. Walters' dictionary, like Gambold's, not only gives translations for individual words but also translates English idioms. Its aim was to enable Welsh writers to discuss all branches of knowledge and the arts in Welsh, and Walters accomplished this by drawing on the resources of the literary language and the spoken language, as well as coining many new words, many of which gained currency and are still used today. Two other editions of the dictionary were published, one in 1815 and the other by Walters' granddaughter Hannah, in 1828" (DNB). This third and final edition was published under the patronage of Lord Dinorben, (William Lewis Hughes, a Welsh businessman who had inherited Europe's largest copper mine). Separate title page for Walters' "Dissertation on the Welsh Langauge" at rear of Volume II. Both volumes of this presentation copy have been identically inscribed to Lord Dinorben: "To the Hon'ble William Lewis Hughes. As a memorial of sincere esteem and regards, this Work is most respectfully presented by The Publisher." Armorial bookplates of Lord Dinorben.
Scattered light foxing to final few gatherings of Volume II. Light restoration to attractive morocco; gilt bright. A most handsome copy with impeccable provenance.