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Lindley Murray (1745–1826), Quaker and Grammarian

In this dissertation, a comprehensive portrait of the American-born Quaker Lindley Murray (1745–1826) is painted and the influence of Murray’s Quakerism on his language use is investigated by analyzing a corpus of 262 of his unpublished private letters.

Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw
14 September 2011
Published by LOT
Full text available in Leiden University Repository

The American-born Quaker Lindley Murray (1745–1826) arguably was the most influential English-language grammarian; undeniably he was the best-selling one. Murray was the author of the  English Grammar (1795), and between 1795 and the middle of the nineteenth century millions of copies were sold of this grammar alone, while several of his other textbooks were no less popular.

In my dissertation, I paint a comprehensive portrait of this prolific writer, and I investigate how Murray’s Quakerism influenced his language use, by analysing a corpus of 262 of his unpublished private letters. In addition, I compared his own usage to the rules that he compiled for his  English Grammar, to see whether Murray practiced what he preached.

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