Archive for December, 2009

Goodbye to Johnson and All That

Goodbye, goodbye, to 2009! But linger first for one last glimpse back o’er the annus Johnsonianus, with its wild lexicographical wonderments. Below, some favorites from Dr Johnson’s Dictionary, which ended today:

Those of you in Johnsonian withdrawal are invited to visit a web exhibition of the Beinecke’s 2009 Samuel Johnson exhibition, to browse the scanned copy of the annotated Sneyd-Gimbel copy of Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (from which most excerpts for the Dr Johnson’s Dictionary blog were drawn), or to ramble through the digital archive of the James Boswell papers, held in the Beinecke Library collections.

For the rest of us, there is always the anniversarial literature of 2010. Why not a bracing dip into the quadringentesimal translation of William Camden’s Britannia—or, for those of you seeking inspiration for your new year’s resolutions, perhaps the tersemicentennial Peter Whitehorne translation of Machiavelli’s Arte of Warre. For the royalists among you, there are always the festival books for the 1610 coronation of Louis XIII—let’s hear it for the roi!

In the interim, do but consider this small dust, here running in the glass by atoms mov’d. Beginning on January 1, the Beinecke’s new Early Modern Paleography blog will begin its wander through the manuscripts and annotations of the Beinecke’s early modern collections. It’s not too late to resolve that 2010 will be the year of reading the early modern word, as scratched, copied, blotted by the early modern hand. Below, death, time, and love from the other Jonson, to mark the beginning of 2010.

Commonplace book, mid-17th century. Beinecke call number: Osborn b205.