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The New World of Words: Or a General English Dictionary

Edward Phillips. London: Nath. Brook, 1671.

The New World of Words - frontispiece

The New World of Words was at the center of a war of words as one of the two competing seventeenth century English language dictionaries, the first major dictionaries of the English language. Phillips, nephew of John Milton, first published his dictionary in 1658 with roughly 11,000 entries. His book came out just two years after Thomas Blount's Glossographia, and was regarded by Blount as being largely plagiarized from his own work. Blount and Phillips attacked each other print, with Blount eventually collecting his arguments in his 1673 critique A World of Errors Discovered in the New World of Words, or General English Dictionary, which argued that wherever Phillips was correct he was not original, and when he was original, he was not correct. Nonetheless, The New World of Words was more popular than Blount's work, and went through many editions, including a complete revision in the 5th and 6th editions released in 1696 and 1706, both published after Phillips' death in 1696.

The book is in a contemporary leather binding that has badly deteriorated and is separating from the front and back boards. The front cover has nearly detached. Restoration work will either re-attach the front board and repair the leather, or will replace the binding.


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