Ben Jonson: The English Grammar

(921 words)

It is uncertain when Jonson started the work on his English Grammar (1641). But he refers to its presumably complete manuscript among the works lost when a fire broke out in his lodgings in November 1623. In “An execration upon Vulcan” (included in The Underwood) Jonson laments the destruction of the Grammar’s manuscript:

Was there made English, with a Grammar too,
To teach some that their nurses could not do,
The purity of language. (171)

Jonson rewrote the volume sometime after 1623, though the exact timeframe remains uncertain. C. H. Herford and Percy Simpson believed that he returned to the project only in the 1630s and, according to David Riggs, The E…

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Vyroubalova, Ema. "The English Grammar". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 June 2013
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]