Is the OED using a citation from James Russell Lowell that is a plagiary?
Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Sep 7 15:09:38 UTC 2007
The OED has for "autobiographic" the quote:
1870 Lowell Among my Bks. Ser. ii. (1873) 26 The writings of
More fully, this is:
"The first remark to be made upon the writings of Dante is that they
are all (with the possible exception of the treatise De Vulgari
Eloquio) autobiographic ..."
Recovered from Google Books -- whose hit list seems to suggest Lowell
plagiarized! George Ripley [and Charles Dana], _The New American
Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge_ , 1859, page
253: "The first remark to be made upon the writings of Dante is that
they are all (with the possible exception of the treatise De Vulgari
The date is confirmed by the title page and verso; the title page
says "Volume VI / Cough-Education", which would include Dante ... and
having diverted myself elsewhere during the download of 60 megs, I
reconfirm that this quotation is on the page cited by Google, and the
title and date are correct.
Now -- did perhaps Lowell write the 12-page Cyclopaedia article on
Dante? We know (or at least I vaguely remember!) that Lowell put
considerable effort into translating Dante (was his translation of
the Inferno never published?); perhaps he was invited to contribute
to the Cyclopaedia. This volume, at least, does not credit its contributors.
By the way, browsing in the Harvard on-line catalog suggests that the
date of 1870 for the Lowell quotation may be incorrect -- the 1870
_Among my Books_ appears not to contain an essay on Dante. One such
appeared in the Second Series. And I wonder about the 1873 date --
Harvard's earliest edition of the _Second Series_ is 1876, as are the
LofC's and the Brit. Library's copies.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
More information about the Ads-l