Category Archives: Lowth

Lowth an Archbishop?

In my book The Bishop’s Grammar (OUP, 2011), I tried to put an end to the myth that it was as a bishop that Lowth wrote his Short Introduction to English Grammar (1762). While he was indeed a clergyman when he wrote … Continue reading

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A scrap of a letter from Lowth

I’m very pleased to have become the owner of a scrap of a letter by Lowth, which basically contains his signature only. I was in two minds about bidding for it on ebay, because I’m appalled at the idea that … Continue reading

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New portrait by Robert Lowth?

An oil painting has just shown up that might very well represent Robert Lowth. Though the painter is currently unknown, the portrait shows clear similarities with the one that you normally see when you google for images of him. Once … Continue reading

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Lowth letters in Leiden

Great news: Leiden University Library owns two letters from the most authoritative 18th-century English grammarian, Robert Lowth (1710-1787) . They were identified accidentally by Myrte Wouterse, BA English and Honours Academy student at the University of Leiden. Myrte and a fellow student had been taken to the … Continue reading

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Gilbert Sorsby his book

The frontispiece of Susan Whyman‘s The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers 1660-1800 (OUP 2009), contains an image from the notebook of Gilbert Sorsby Jr with the words: Gilbert Sorsby/ His Book: 1763. Sorsby is identified as a Devonshire farmer, but … Continue reading

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Robert Lowth in the Chawton House Library

The Chawton House Library, which according to its website is “set in the home and working estate of Jane Austen’s brother”, that is, Edward Austen Knight, possesses three copies of Lowth’s grammar, a first edition (1762) and two so-called “New … Continue reading

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You was and Lowth’s grammar

The first grammarian of English to condemn you was was Robert Lowth, in the first edition of his grammar (1762) (Tieken-Boon van Ostade 2002), and as I show in my article, usage dropped significantly after that date. This suggests immediate influence … Continue reading

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