Engelsche spraakkunst: Dutch adaptation of Murray's renowned English grammar
Lindley Murray. Engelsche spraakkunst [...] bewerkt volgens de leerwijze van Agron [...] derde op nieuw herziene en verbeterde uitgaaf. Amsterdam, G.J.A. Beijerinck, 1829. 8vo. VI, 316 pp. Contemporary blue boards. In good condition and untrimmed. Boards soiled and spine damaged, a few dog ears.
Third Dutch edition of Murray’s renowned English grammar, first published in 1795. Only two other copies located.
Lindley Murray (1745-1826) was an American Quaker, writer and grammarian. Born at Harper Tavern, Pennsylvania, he moved to England in 1784, hoping, surprisingly, that his failing health would benefit from the English climate. He settled at Holgate and wrote the English grammar for the use of a friend’s school for girls in nearby York. It was extremely influential, going through nearly 50 editions.
The first Dutch adaptation was published in 1816, when most Dutchmen where still largely unfamiliar with the English language. Like many grammarians Murray divided his grammar into four parts: orthography, etymology (morphology), syntax, and prosody. Apparently the Dutch editor deemed orthography and prosody useless: he reduced his edition to etymology and syntax. It was adapted according to Agron's method, as the title-page mentions. Antoine Nicolas Agron had developed a method to teach Dutch schoolchildren French using translation exercises. The translator and adapter remained anonymous, but research has revealed his identity to be Rudolph Van der Pijl. His adaptation remained in print for over 55 years.
Most 18th- and 19th-century (school)grammars are very rare. This grammar is no exception: of this edition we could trace only two other copies, one in the National Library of the Netherlands (The Hague) and one in the University of Amsterdam Library.