A French-English dictionary - 1650

PC2640 .A2 C7 1650 Large Part 1 Title Page.JPG

              This bilingual dictionary published at the midpoint of the 17th century is in many ways the most modern book included here. Like a modern language dictionary, the book provides translations in both directions and is organized into a French to English section and an English to French one, although the French to English section is longer and includes a more expansive section on French grammar. The epistle dedicates the book generally to the "Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain," and most of the prefatory material appears written for an English reader; a grammar of French, notes on French orthography, and a dialog between two characters Sylvander and Claninan on the subject of untranslatable idioms are included. A shorter note in French also precedes the French-English section explaining how it might be used by a French reader. The English-French section is also preceded by an epistle to "Favourables lecteurs Francois, Alemans et autres," and another for English readers. The final sections of the book are a brief guide to English pronunciation and a series of lists "Fore the ease of the French Student" of the English words for various types of animals, armaments, and other items.


French-English Dictionary 1650 2G4v detail (dog list)


Entries in the French to English section are alphabetical by French. Roman type is used for French and italic for English. Entries give grammatical information such as the gender of a noun and whether a verb is irregular. Entries in the English to French section are alphabetical by English. English words are set in black letter (gothic) type, although articles (a/an/the) are set in roman type. French words are in italics in this section, with words marked as “obsolete” French in roman, as described in the “Caution to the Reader” which precedes the section.

Pages are set in three columns. Column headings note where the column ends, rather than where it begins. Each letter begins with a plain capital.

Bibliographic Information


Randle Cotgrave


A French-English dictionary compil'd by Mr. Randle Cotgrave : with another in English and French. Whereunto are newly added the animadversions and supplements, &c. [etcetera] of James Howell ....






Printed by W.H. for Octavian Pulleyn




James Howell
Robert Sherwood


In 2 parts, the 2nd part has special t.p.: Dictionaire anglois & françois ... A dictionary English and French ... by Robert Sherwood ... London, printed by Susan Islip, 1650.


London : Printed by W.H. for Octavian Pulleyn ..., 1650.


Leather over laminated paper board. Book has been rebound in the 19th century. Borders are embossed with a vine pattern that is also on the inside of the boards. Both covers have separated, but the leather on the spine is still well attached.

A bookmark that was once attached to the binding has detached and now rests between 3Z1v and 3Z2r.

The lower third of all pages has mild water damage which does not interfere with the text.


Presented to CRRS by J. Carscallen.


Handwritten on flyleaf: Cecil Mouro 1855 (?)

Handwritten on second flyleaf: $10000

Handwritten in pencil on verso of second flyleaf: Wing – 6375. – [ans ed.] By W.H. for Octavian Pulleyn,| for British Museum; Worcester College; |John Rylands; H.E. Huntington;

On title page there are several hands: In one is written “This Book belongs to Kinnaber July 18th 1777.” In a different hand is written “AlSunan [?] J738.” A third hand has written a note near the title page wood cut.


2o: a-d4 ($2 -a1, d signed as D2), B-4V4 ($2 -3I2) 4Z2, π2, A-2G4 ($2 +Gg3), χ1(half sheet), 2χ2 Final folio is on heavier paper.


a2r - The Epistle Dedicatory To the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain - by James Howell

b1r - The French Grammar

d1v - A Dialogue twixt Sylvander and Clorinan consisting of some extraordinary and difficult criticall Phrases which are meer Gallicismes, and pure Idiomes of the French toung.

d3r - Note on updated orthography – d3

d4r - To the Right Honourable and my very good Lord and Master, Sir William Cecil Knight Lord Burghley, and sonne and heire apparent unto the Earle of Exceter - Randle Cotgrave

d4v - Au favourable Lecteur François – L’oiseau de Tourval, Parisien

B1r - A Dictionarie

4Z4r – Aux Favorables Lecteurs François, Alemans & autres – R.S. de Londres

4Z4v – To the English Reader – Robert Sherwood

A1r – A Dictionary English and French; Compiled for the commoditie of all such as are desirous of both Tongues

2G3 – Adresses bien briesues pour aider aux Estrangers à pronouncer la langue Angloise

2G4v – Fore the ease of the French Student, and the further advantage of his memory, the heads of some species are collected and annexed hereunto

Dictionaries Without Latin
A French-English dictionary - 1650