The book offers insight into the publication history of eighteenth-century English grammars in unprecedented detail. It is based on a close analysis of various types of relevant information: Alston's bibliography of 1965, showing that this source needs to be revised urgently; the recently published online database Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) with respect to sources of information never previously explored or analysed (such as book catalogues and library catalogues); Carol Percy's database on the reception of eighteenth-century grammars in contemporary periodical reviews; and so-called precept corpora containing data on the treatment in a large variety of grammars (and other works) of individual grammatical constructions. By focussing on individual grammars and their history a number of long-standing questions are solved with respect to the authorship of particular grammars and related work (the Brightland/Gildon grammar and the Bellum Grammaticale; Ann Fisher's grammar) while new questions are identified, such as the significant change of approach between the publication of one grammar and its second edition of seven years later (Priestley), and the dependence of later practical grammars (for mothers and their children) on earlier publications. The contributions present a view of the grammarians as individuals with (or without) specific qualifications for undertaking what they did, with their own ideas on teaching methodology, and as writers ultimately engaged in the common aim presenting practical grammars of English to the general public. Interestingly - and importantly - this collection of articles demonstrates the potential of ECCO as a resource for further research in the field.
Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
with GGGW scholars and indeed students interested in Late Modern English are provided with an accurate and useful tool by means of wich both the internal and the ecternal history of the language can be studied simultaneously."Marina Dossena in: Journal of English Languages and Linguistics 3/2009<
Scholars (including Postgraduates) interested in the English Standardisation Process, the History of English Grammar generally and in the History of particular Usage Problems as dealt with by Normative Grammarians; Libraries