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Lynda Mugglestone on Samuel Johnson’s Garret Lexicography

June 26 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT

Sponsored by The Grolier Club

Join The Grolier Club for a live webcast lecture by Lynda Mugglestone, Professor of the History of English and Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, in conjunction with our public exhibition “Hardly Harmless Drudgery,” co-curated by Grolier members Bryan A. Garner and Jack Lynch. This registration is for the live webcast: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-lecture-lynda-mugglestone-on-samuel-johnsons-garret-lexicography-tickets-916652431097?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

Professor Mugglestone, author of “The Oxford History of English” [Oxford University Press, 2006], in her research focuses on a wide range of linguistic, social and cultural aspects in the history of English (from about 1750 on). She has particular interests in the history of pronunciation and of dictionaries, and has written a number of books and articles on lexicography between 1700 and the present, including “Samuel Johnson and the Journey into Words,” and earlier books on Dr. Johnson and on the Oxford English Dictionary.

“Hardly Harmless Drudgery” displays English-language dictionaries from the dawn of printing to the present day.

Dictionaries are repositories of erudition, monuments to linguistic authority, and battlefields in cultural and political struggles. They are works of almost superhuman endurance, produced by people who devote themselves for years or even decades to wearisome labor. Dictionaries can become commodities in a fiercely competitive publishing business, and they can keep a business afloat for generations or sink it swiftly. They are also often beautiful objects: typographically innovative, designed to project learning and authority. The painstaking work of corralling, recording, and defining the vocabulary of a language has inspired best-selling books, both fiction and nonfiction, and even two major motion pictures. And yet its future is uncertain. The internet has taught more than one industry that it’s hard to compete with free, and the reign of the printed dictionary may be coming to an end. It leaves many to wonder: are professionally edited dictionaries necessary anymore?–and if they’re necessary, are they possible?

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.


June 26
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT
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