Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases. Roget.

By Peter Mark Roget

Printed: 1912

Publisher: Longman Green & Co. London

Dimensions 16 × 21 × 4 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 21 x 4

Condition: Very good  (See explanation of ratings)

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Item information


Tan leather spine with gilt title( faded from navy ). Navy boards. Knaresborough library stamped.

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                                       An early collector’s edition

Roget retired from professional life in 1840, and by 1846 was working on the book that perpetuates his memory today. It has been claimed that Roget struggled with depression for most of his life, and that the thesaurus arose partly from an effort to battle it. A biographer stated that his obsession with list-making as a coping mechanism was well established by the time Roget was eight years old. In 1805, he began to maintain a notebook classification scheme for words, organized by meaning. During this period he also moved to Manchester, where he became the first secretary of the Portico Library.

The catalogue of words was first printed in 1852, titled Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. During Roget’s lifetime, the work had twenty-eight printings. After his death, it was revised and expanded by his son, John Lewis Roget (1828–1908), and later by John’s son, the engineer Samuel Romilly Roget (1875–1953). Roget’s private library was put up for auction in 1870 at Sotheby’s and its catalogue has been analyzed.



Peter Mark Roget LRCP FRS FRCP FGS FRAS (18 January 1779 – 12 September 1869) was a British physician, natural theologian, lexicographer and founding secretary of The Portico Library. He is best known for publishing, in 1852, the Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, a classified collection of related words. He also read a paper to the Royal Society about a peculiar optical illusion in 1824, which is often regarded as the origin of the persistence of vision theory that was later commonly used to explain apparent motion in film and animation.

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