Lowth

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This is a bibliography page, concerning a work to which reference is made elsewhere in this guide.


Bishop Robert Lowth (1710–1787) wrote an immensely successful and influential text, A Short Introduction to English Grammar, in which he "extolled the simplicity of the form and construction of the English language" (ODNB) - but also attempted to 'polish and refine' the language. It was popular in both Britain and America, and informed the teaching of English grammar in both communities for the next century and a half. He was elected (twice) Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford (1741–1751), where his lectures, the Praelectiones de sacra poesi Hebraeorum ('Lectures on the sacred poetry of the Jews'), were delivered, as was customary, in Latin. He was consecrated Bishop of St David's in 1766, transferring to Oxford later that year; and Bishop of London in 1777 when he was appointed Dean of the Chapel Royal as well. His grammatical work is now very dated. He also wrote a new translation, with notes, of the book of Isaiah, published in 1778.

Lowth, Robert (1762) A Short Introduction to English Grammar, London, Printed by J. Hughs, for A. Millar.
A modern reprint of the first edition is available:
Lowth, Robert, bishop of London (1967) A short introduction to English grammar, 1762, Menston (Yorks), Scolar Press. This is a photographic reprint of Lowth's own copy, held in the library of Winchester College, with the author's notes for the second edition (1763).

Many subsequent editions were published.

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