A Christian Dictionary

Shakespeare in Print –  Shakespeare’s Printer

#29 Thomas Wilson, A Christian Dictionary (1622)

In the Renaissance books were not simply printed from beginning to end. Printers usually had several books and other small jobs in production at the same time (see items 31 and 32). When work on the First Folio began in Jaggard’s shop early in 1622, the third edition of Thomas Wilson’s Christian Dictionary was just being finished. A detailed bibliographical analysis of the two books reveals that the same pieces of type (distinctive because they were damaged) appear in both books. Wilson’s substantive work was the first dictionary of the bible in English, and was intended to help readers understand the scriptures. One early owner, however, used the blank space on the title-page to work out a math problem and to practice handwriting.

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