‘It was not his first Intention to swell the Work with so many Notes’: Annotation in William Falconer’s The Shipwreck and the birth of the Universal Dictionary of the Marine

By William Jones, published August 2020


William Falconer is well known for his influential Universal Dictionary of the Marine. Less well known is that the Dictionary owed its origins to Falconer’s other claim to fame as a poet. The Shipwreck (1762) is a narrative of his personal experience of a voyage, notable for its density of nautical terminology, and extensive annotation, explaining the seafaring terminology and techniques for managing a ship. The poem proved popular and two further revised editions appeared in 1764 and 1769, the year of the publication of the Universal Dictionary of the Marine. This study shows how the Universal Dictionary of the Marine owes its origins to The Shipwreck and its annotation.

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Filed under: Seven Years’ War | Eighteenth Century | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

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