St John's College U.12 (formerly H.35) (James 296)

Edward Capell, Hermes, or, A Guide to the Elements [of phonetic spelling]. English, 1778


Edward Capell (1713-81): 'Hermes, or, A Guide to the Elements; setting forth their just number, and a Mode of representing with certainty: for the Benefit of Youth, and of Foreigners', together with an accompanying preface in the form of a letter, dated 30 May 1778, signed and in the same hand. Apparently never printed. Bound into the front of the vol. is a printed broadsheet of two tables, describing Capell's system of phonetic spelling, signed and dated 3 June 1749. The author, a member of St Catharine's College, was a noted Shakespearean scholar. Much of his considerable library was presented to Trinity College, Cambridge (see DNB and W. W. Greg (compl.), Catalogue of the books presented by Edward Capell to the Library of Trinity College in Cambridge, Cambridge, 1903).

Manuscript extra information

305x245 mm., the table measuring 456x575 mm. The Guide consists of a title page and a text of 8 pp. in double columns. 16 subsequent blank folios. The letter, loosely inserted, is of 3 pp. No internal clue as to provenance, but perhaps presented by the author.

A single, neat hand throughout, presumably autograph. Paper: a ruled ledger of the period. Contemporary binding of marbled paper on card, slightly damaged at top of spine.