Dr. Edmund Castell, 1606-1685 : a collection of letters and documents illustrating the misfortunes of Edmund Castell during the production of his Heptaglot Lexicon, mainly transcribed from his cipher-writings
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“My object is to present a series of documents illustrating the troubled life of Dr Edmund Castell, one-time chief assistant editor of the ‘London Polyglot’, in its time an epoch-making work of scholarship in Eastern Learning in England, and later editor of his own ‘Heptaglot Lexicon’. Without stepping into realms of scholarship from which I am excluded by lack of linguistic equipment, I have tried to place before the account of Castell’s life, and the unpublished letters which are here edited, some historical matter, which is not derived from my own insight into the history of Eastern Learning in the Seventeenth Century, but towards which I have attempted to make my own slight and necessarily superficial contribution. I am not able, therefore, rightly to estimate anew the range and depth of Castell’s erudition, nor the erudition of any other scholar whose name I have mentioned. Instead, nevertheless, of reiterating the sufficient and moving narrative of the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’, I have furnished as complete (and practically new) a body of biographical material as my researches have permitted, and which I believe is exhaustive. A great number of these documents being originally in shorthand or cypher, I have done my best to provide an adequate transliteration of what was virtually a secret-writing. From these and supplementary sources I have brought together some information concerning particular aspects of Castell’s life and his experiences while he completed his life’s work…” – From the Preface.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy