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Jack Lynch: The Frontiers of Anglicity

June 17 @ 6:00 pm EDT

Sponsored by The Grolier Club

Join The Grolier Club as Jack Lynch, co-curator with fellow Grolierite Bryan A. Garner, of our “Hardly Harmless Drudgery” public exhibition will lecture on “The Frontiers of Anglicity: What’s In, What’s Out?” The “Hardly Harmless Drudgery” exhibition displays landmarks in English lexicography and runs in The Grolier Club ground-floor Exhibition Hall through July 27, 2024.

Dr. Lynch, a Grolier member since 2019, is Distinguished Professor of English and Department Chair at Rutgers University, where he has taught since 1998. His scholarly work focuses on 18th-c. British literature, especially Samuel Johnson; the history of the English language; forgery, fakery and fraud; satire; and literary biography; and he is the author of several books on these subjects, including an abridgment of Dr. Johnson’s “Dictionary,” a biography of Shakespeare that begins with his death and ends with his 300th birthday, a history of the idea of “proper” English, and a wide-ranging history of reference books from ancient Mesopotamian tablets to the latest updates on Wikipedia.

Register here for the online lecture: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-lecture-jack-lynch-on-the-frontiers-of-anglicity-tickets-914717804577?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

About this Exhibition

Samuel Johnson, creator of the first great English dictionary, wickedly mocked his own trade when he defined lexicographer as “A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.” But dictionaries are serious business, and the people who drudge away at them are anything but harmless. Co-curated by Grolier Club members Bryan A. Garner (Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University) and Jack Lynch (Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University), Hardly Harmless Drudgery traces the history of English-language lexicography from its origins to its digital present in some 100 objects, from early printed books to CD-ROMs. Highlights include important dictionaries and manuscripts—mostly from Garner’s collection—including items from Johnson, Noah Webster, and the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as portraits, advertisements, lexicographic ephemera, and letters. An accompanying monograph from Godine was published in March 2024. This is a virtual lecture that will be live webcast.

Grolier Club Members

If you are a Grolier Club member, please register yourself and your guests via the Club website. Do not register via Eventbrite.

Public Support

We appreciate your interest in the Grolier Club’s programming on the art and history of the book. For more than 130 years we have offered our exhibitions and lectures to the public, free of charge. If you have enjoyed these offerings, and would like to support the continuance of that tradition, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Grolier Club.


June 17
6:00 pm EDT
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