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Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Correspondence of Sir William Jones

Teignmouth, Lord

From Apogee Books (TUCSON, AZ, U.S.A.)

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London: Sold by John Hatchard (Bookseller to Her Majesty), Piccadilly, 1804. Quarto, original full calf but completely worn, with spine perished and covers detached. 531 pages. Prelims soiled, front endleaf and last page of text detached. Aside from this, the text block is secure and clean. Small letterpress bookplate of Fra. Nutcombe. Sir William Jones (1746-1794) was the first English scholar to master Sanscrit. He was a precocious student, tutored by an exceptional mother before going on to Harrow, where he spent more than ten years, became a thorough classical scholar, and learned French and Italian and Arabic and Hebrew in his spare time. His father wanted him to study law but he refused on the grounds that the old English law books were written in bad Latin! While attending Oxford, on the strength of his brilliant reputation at Harrow, he was appointed private tutor to Lord Althorp, the only son of Lord Spencer. During this period he became a fluent scholar in German, Spanish, and Portuguese, and mastered Arabic and Persian besides. In 1772, already an established Oriental scholar, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. A year later in 1773, he and Garrick joined the famous Literary Club of which Dr. Johnson was the presiding genius. Jones eventually did practice law, mostly for financial reasons, and became a great jurist, and published important works in the field. He was appointed to a judgeship in India in 1783, the same year he was knighted, and spent the last ten years of his life there. "The reputation of Sir William Jones during his lifetime was immense. The extraordianry range of his knowledge caused him to be regarded as a prodigy of learnihng. He is said to have know thirteen languages thoroughly and twenty-eight fairly well." (Dictionary of national Biography). "I could dwell with rapture on the affability of his conversation and manners, on his modest, unassuming deportment.his presence was the delight of every society, which his conversation exhilarated and improved." (Lord Teignmouth). Bookseller Inventory # 8013

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