Difference between revisions of "Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres"

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===by Hugh Blair===
 
===by Hugh Blair===
 
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<blockquote> In 1767 Blair published Heads of the Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, in the University of Edinburgh, which was reissued in 1771 and 1777. By the early 1780s he was considering publishing the lectures themselves, allegedly because he was worried about the wide circulation of corrupt manuscript copies, but perhaps also because he was then contemplating his retirement from the classroom. Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres appeared in two quarto volumes on 7 June 1783 in London, and on 5 July in Edinburgh. The publishers were once again Strahan, Cadell, and Creech, who paid Blair a handsome fee of £1500. As the author explained to his publishers on 21 June 1783, the work was based ‘on plain common sense, so as to be intelligible to all, without any abstruse metaphysics’ (NL Scot., MS 3813, fols. 17–18). It also benefited from Blair's comprehensive approach to his subject, which included discussions of the principles of taste and criticism, the rise and development of language, style, and various types of eloquence, both written and oral. Blair's book immediately became the new standard for the study of rhetoric and literary criticism, and was particularly popular and influential in the United States, where the Sermons also enjoyed great fame during the first half of the nineteenth century. In July 1784 Blair officially became joint holder of the rhetoric and belles-lettres chair with his disciple William Greenfield, who had already begun lecturing and collecting the class fees, while Blair continued to receive the £70 annual salary for life. <ref> Richard B. Sher, ‘Blair, Hugh (1718–1800)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/2563, accessed 11 June 2013] </ref> </blockquote>
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|link=http://wm-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/01COWM_WM:EVERYTHING:01COWM_WM_ALMA21553886800003196
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|shorttitle=Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres
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|author=[[:Category:Hugh Blair|Hugh Blair]]
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|publoc=[[:Category:Philadelphia|Philadelphia]]
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|publisher=Printed and sold by Robert Aitken, at Pope's head in Market street
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|year=1784
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|edition=First American
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|lang=[[:Category:English|English]]
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|pages=viii, 454, [12]
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|desc=[[:Category:Quartos|4to]] (27 cm.)
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|shelf=L-2
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}}[[File:BlairLecturesOnRhetoric1784Inscription.jpg|left|thumb|300px|<center>Gift inscription to George Wythe, front free endpaper.</center>]][http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Blair Hugh Blair] (1718-1800) was born in Edinburgh, the only child of a prominent Presbyterian family.<ref>Richard B. Sher, "[http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/2563?docPos=1 Blair, Hugh (1718–1800)]" in ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'', accessed November 2, 2013. Subsequent biographical information derives from this article.</ref> He entered the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Edinburgh University of Edinburgh] at age thirteen where he studied moral philosophy and literature. Two years after finishing his university education, Blair became a Presbyterian preacher. Blair achieved various positions of authority within the Church, and began publishing his largest work, ''Sermons'', during this time.
  
==Bibliographic Information==
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Beginning in 1760 Blair taught rhetoric and composition at the University of Edinburgh. As he approached retirement, he published many of his lessons in ''Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres'', perhaps fearful that corrupt manuscripts would circulate. The ''Lectures'' series was first published in 1783 in London, and later that same year in Edinburgh. The publication of ''Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres'' firmly cemented Blair’s place as a central figure in the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Enlightenment Scottish Enlightenment], and Blair’s ''Sermons'' gained some fame in the United States during the early nineteenth century.
'''Author:''' Hugh Blair
 
  
'''Title:''' Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres
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==Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library==
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Wythe definitely owned this title; a copy at the College of William & Mary was given to him by one of his students, and includes a presentation inscription on the front free endpaper. Listed in the [[Jefferson Inventory]] of [[Wythe's Library]] as "Blair's lectures. 1st. vol. 4to." and given by [[Thomas Jefferson]] to his grandson, [[Thomas Jefferson Randolph]]. Both Brown's Bibliography<ref>Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.</ref> and [http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe George Wythe's Library]<ref>''LibraryThing'', s.v. [http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe "Member: George Wythe]," accessed on June 28, 2013.</ref> on LibraryThing list this title.
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{{BookPageBookplate
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|imagename=BlairLecturesOnRhetoric1784Bookplate.jpg
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|display=left
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|caption=Bookplate of W. K. Bixby, front pastedown.
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}}==Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy==
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On permanent loan from the [http://www.swem.wm.edu/ Earl Gregg Swem Library] at the College of William & Mary. Bound in the original paper boards. A presentation copy, it is inscribed, "For the Honorable George Wythe Esquire from his most affectionate friend and obliged humble servant. [[Thomas Lee Shippen]]." Includes signatures of "George W." (on the front free end paper, below the inscription) and "T. J. Randolph" on the title page. The bookplate of [http://library.wustl.edu/units/spec/manuscripts/findingaids/MSS013.html William K. Bixby] is on the front pastedown.
  
'''Published:''' Philadelphia: Printed and sold by Robert Aitken, 1784.  
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Images of the library's copy of this book are [https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolflawlibrary/sets/72157659424834509 available on Flickr.] View the record for this book in [http://wm-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/01COWM_WM:EVERYTHING:01COWM_WM_ALMA21553886800003196 William & Mary's online catalog.]
  
'''Edition:'''
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==See also==
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<div style="overflow: hidden;">
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*[[George Wythe Room]]
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*[[Jefferson Inventory]]
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*[[Known Surviving Wythe Volumes]]
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*[[Wythe's Library]]
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</div>
  
==Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library==
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==References==
 
 
==Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy==
 
 
 
===References===
 
 
<references/>
 
<references/>
  
[[Category:Books]]
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[[Category:George Wythe Collection at William & Mary's Wolf Law Library]]
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[[Category:Hugh Blair]]
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[[Category:Known Surviving Wythe Volumes]]
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[[Category:Language and Rhetoric]]
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[[Category:Thomas Jefferson Randolph's Books]]
 
[[Category:Titles in Wythe's Library]]
 
[[Category:Titles in Wythe's Library]]
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[[Category:English]]
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[[Category:Philadelphia]]
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[[Category:Quartos]]

Revision as of 16:10, 13 December 2018

by Hugh Blair

Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres
BlairLecturesOnRhetoric1784TitlePage.jpg

Title page from Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Hugh Blair
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Philadelphia: Printed and sold by Robert Aitken, at Pope's head in Market street
Date 1784
Edition First American
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages viii, 454, [12]
Desc. 4to (27 cm.)
Location Shelf L-2
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
Gift inscription to George Wythe, front free endpaper.
Hugh Blair (1718-1800) was born in Edinburgh, the only child of a prominent Presbyterian family.[1] He entered the University of Edinburgh at age thirteen where he studied moral philosophy and literature. Two years after finishing his university education, Blair became a Presbyterian preacher. Blair achieved various positions of authority within the Church, and began publishing his largest work, Sermons, during this time.

Beginning in 1760 Blair taught rhetoric and composition at the University of Edinburgh. As he approached retirement, he published many of his lessons in Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, perhaps fearful that corrupt manuscripts would circulate. The Lectures series was first published in 1783 in London, and later that same year in Edinburgh. The publication of Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres firmly cemented Blair’s place as a central figure in the Scottish Enlightenment, and Blair’s Sermons gained some fame in the United States during the early nineteenth century.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Wythe definitely owned this title; a copy at the College of William & Mary was given to him by one of his students, and includes a presentation inscription on the front free endpaper. Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Blair's lectures. 1st. vol. 4to." and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Both Brown's Bibliography[2] and George Wythe's Library[3] on LibraryThing list this title.

Bookplate of W. K. Bixby, front pastedown.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

On permanent loan from the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William & Mary. Bound in the original paper boards. A presentation copy, it is inscribed, "For the Honorable George Wythe Esquire from his most affectionate friend and obliged humble servant. Thomas Lee Shippen." Includes signatures of "George W." (on the front free end paper, below the inscription) and "T. J. Randolph" on the title page. The bookplate of William K. Bixby is on the front pastedown.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also

References

  1. Richard B. Sher, "Blair, Hugh (1718–1800)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed November 2, 2013. Subsequent biographical information derives from this article.
  2. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.
  3. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.