January 1880 Appeal

Welcome to the facsimile text of the third edition of James Murray’s Appeal to the English-speaking and English-reading public, issued in June 1879.

The first and second editions are also available here.

Although the three Appeal editions are essentially the same text, it is fascinating to trace the progress and development of the early phase of reading for the OED, evidenced by the alterations, footnotes, and accompanying material in successive editions.

The second and third Appeal editions, along with the list of eighteenth century books, were assigned reference letters by Murray himself in order to reference a report he had written for the Delegates of the University Press in March 1880. It is not known, however, whose hand struck through some of the work titles in the reading list for the second edition of the Appeal. For more background information, see Brewer, Charlotte, OED Sources in Mugglestone, Lynda Lexicography and the OED – Pioneers in the Untrodden Forest.