Of The Origin and Progress of Language. Vols. I - VI
[BURNETT, James, Lord Monboddo]
Vol. II subtitle: "To Which Are Annexed, Three Dissertations, viz. 1. Of the Formation of the Greek Language. 2. Of the Sound of the Greek Language. 3. Of the Composition of the Antients; and particularly of that of Demosthenes." James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (1714 - 1799) was a judge by profession but a scholar of linguistic evolution in his spare time. He is best remembered today as a founder of comparative historical linguistics. Burnett's multi-volume work presents many unusual opinions, such as that the ourang-utan is a class of the human species and its inability to speak like us merely an accident. Some writers credit him with anticipating in principle the idea of natural selection that was developed into a scientific theory by Charles Darwin. Mixed-edition sets like this one are not uncommon for this work. Vols. I and III were reprinted as a "second edition" in 1774 and 1786 after the publishers discovered they had not printed a sufficient number. Isaac Hawkins Browne (1745 1818) was a Tory politician, industrialist, essayist, and lord of the manor of Badger, Shropshire. It appears this set came from the manor library, although the house has been demolished.
- Publisher: J. Balfour; J. Bell; Bell & Bradfute
- Edition: Vols. I & III are stated Second Editions
- Date Published: 1774-1792
- Place Published: Edinburgh
- ISBN: n/a
- Condition: Very good
- Signed: No
- Dust Jacket: No
- Jacket Condition: n/a
6 vols.: xi, 678; xi, 588; xli, 8, 463; xxxi, 471; lii, , vi, 473 p. 22 cm. Full leather with red and black spine labels. Gilt trim to edges. Respined with original spines overlaid. Hinges repaired internally. Bookplates for Isaac Hawkins Browne on front pastedowns. Corners worn. Scuffs to front boards of vols. II & V. Chips to spine labels of vols. I & II. Foxing.