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Hesitant at first, I looked at Goold Brown’s presumptuous title “Grammar of English Grammars” and started to ignore it. Recognizing the hyperbole as likely more a bit of marketing on the publisher’s part, I went ahead to look into this book. I quickly discovered it was Brown with the ego, but an understandable one. This was a life’s work type of book to Brown. At over 1,100 pages, it was quite a piece of work at that.
One normally does not give credit to a book indexer, and I’ve done a bit of indexing myself, but considering the task while the indexer usually does not belong on the bibliographic entry, Samuel Berrian deserves an honorable mention. What is more the enormous list of “Grammars and Grammarians” is a bibliographic dream for the time. Having only read to page 85 before realizing it was time to move on, the mass of important name-dropping and quotations provided display his literal decades of work toward this opus. This is a book worth reserving for I suspect I will be digging into it for a long, long time.
Brown, Goold. Grammar of English Grammars. 10th edition revised. New York: William Wood, 1851. http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=q4gSAAAAIAAJ.