An Abridgement of the Last Quarto Edition of Ainsworth's Dictionary, English and Latin

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by Robert Ainsworth

Ainsworth's Dictionary
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author Robert Ainsworth
Published :
Edition Precise edition unknown
Volumes volume set
Desc. 8vo

This dictionary was designed for use in schools and in teaching the formal use of both English and Latin for formal composition.[1] The abridgment omits full verb declination instead focusing on a more efficient presentation of the verb form and a description of the pattern it follows.[2] This was done for pedagogical purposes, to attempt to force students to remember the declination and verb forms of the Latin they had to learn.[3]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Ainsworth's dict. Eng. Abridged. 8vo." This was one of the titles kept by Thomas Jefferson and possibly later sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.[4] . Brown's Bibliography[5] lists the 1774 London edition while George Wythe's Library[6] on LibraryThing) indicates "Precise edition unknown. Octavo abridgments were published in 1774, 1785, 1790, 1794, and 1798."

To date, the Wolf Law Library has been unable to locate a copy of Ainsworth's Abridgement.

See also


External Links

Read the third edition (1790) of this book in Google Books

  1. An Abridgement of the last Quarto Edition "[1]"
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 5:91 [no.4803]. Jefferson noted "Ainsworth's dict. Lat. Eng. abridged. 2.v. 8vo." in the 1815 catalogue of he books sold to the Library of Congress. Since he doesn't list Wythe's copy as a 2 volume set, Wythe's may have been one of the numerous single volume editions.
  5. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  6. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on May 2, 2023.