Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Literary Blunders   By: (1838-1917)

Book cover

First Page:

LITERARY BLUNDERS

A CHAPTER IN THE

`` HISTORY OF HUMAN ERROR ''

BY HENRY B. WHEATLEY, F.S.A.

PREFACE.

EVERY reader of The Caxtons will remember the description, in that charming novel, of the gradual growth of Augustine Caxton's great work ``The History of Human Error,'' and how, in fact, the existence of that work forms the pivot round which the incidents turn. It was modestly expected to extend to five quarto volumes, but only the first seven sheets were printed by Uncle Jack's Anti Publishers' Society, ``with sundry unfinished plates depicting the various developments of the human skull (that temple of Human Error),''

and the remainder has not been heard of since.

In introducing to the reader a small branch of this inexhaustible subject, I have ventured to make use of Augustine Caxton's title; but I trust that no one will allow himself to imagine that I intend, in the future, to produce the thousand or so volumes which will be required to complete the work.

A satirical friend who has seen the proofs of this little volume says it should be entitled ``Jokes Old and New''; but I find that he seldom acknowledges that a joke is new, and I hope, therefore, my readers will transpose the adjectives, and accept the old jokes for the sake of the new ones. I may claim, at least, that the series of answers to examination questions, which Prof. Oliver Lodge has so kindly supplied me with, comes within the later class.

I trust that if some parts of the book are thought to be frivolous, the chapters on lists of errata and misprints may be found to contain some useful literary information.

I have availed myself of the published communications of my friends Professors Hales and Skeat and Dr. Murray on Literary Blunders, and my best thanks are also due to several friends who have helped me with some curious instances, and I would specially mention Sir George Birdwood, K.C.I.E., C.SI.., Mr. Edward Clodd, Mr. R. B. Prosser, and Sir Henry Trueman Wood .

CONTENTS. CHAPTER

BLUNDERS IN GENERAL.

PAGE

Distinction between a blunder and a mistake Long life of a literary blunder Professor Skeat's ``ghost words'' Dr. Murray's ``ghost words'' Marriage Service Absurd etymology Imaginary persons Family pride Fortunate blunders Misquotations Bulls from Ireland and elsewhere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

CHAPTER II.

BLUNDERS OF AUTHORS.

Goldsmith French memoir writers Historians Napier's bones Mr. Gladstone Lord Macaulay Newspaper writers Critics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

CHAPTER III.

BLUNDERS OF TRANSLATORS. PAGE

``Translators are traitors'' Amusing translations Translations of names Cinderella ``Oh that mine adversary had written a book'' Perversions of the true meaning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

CHAPTER IV.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL BLUNDERS.

Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica Imaginary authors Faulty classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

CHAPTER V.

LISTS OF ERRATA.

Early use of errata Intentional blunders Authors correct their books Ineffectual attempts to be immaculate Misprints never corrected. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

CHAPTER VI.

MISPRINTS.

Misprints not always amusing A Dictionary of Misprints Blades's Shakspere and Typography Upper and lower cases Stops Byron Wicked Bible Malherbe Coquilles Hood's lines Chaucer Misplacement of type . . . . . . . . . . . . .100

PAGE CHAPTER VII.

SCHOOLBOYS' BLUNDERS.

Cleverness of these blunders Etymological guesses English as she is Taught Scriptural confusions Musical blunders History and geography How to question Professor Oliver Lodge's specimens of answers to examination papers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157

CHAPTER VIII.

FOREIGNERS ENGLISH... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books