London: John Murray, 1847. Very Good+. Item #26687
London: John Murray, 1847. First Edition. Octavo; publisher's brown blind-embossed cloth, gilt-lettered spine; vii,,492,16pp.; publisher's advertisements bound in rear printed in red and black. Light shelf wear, contemporary ownership ex libris to front pastedown, else a Very Good or better, superlative copy.
Uncommon lexicon by the inventor of calotype photography H. Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Talbot had had a difficult year in 1846, his attempt to promote his photography process in the "Art-Union" magazine proving a critical failure, compounded by the death of his mother. "English Etymologies" is a strange little work with the words in no particular order, beginning with "Concert" and ending with "Camel," while "Raisin" appears on p. 3 between "Garland" and "Currant." By way of explanation Talbot wrote in his short preface that etymology "is the lamp by which much that is obscure in the primitive history of the world will one day be cleared up."