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YOUNG, THOMAS. - An Account of Some Recent Discoveries in Hieroglyphical Literature, and Egyptian Antiquities. Including the author's original alphabet, as extended by Mr. Champollion ...

London, Murray 1823. Octavo uncut in modern quarter cloth & boards; xvi,160,[2,4 adverts]pp, illustrations of hieroglyphs through the text. Some light spotting or browning. ¶ Tart and a little peevish, not without cause, but not an ungenerous book. This is an I-told-you-so book, and we should perhaps be thankful for Champollion's reticence about credit due to Young for his translation of the 'demotic' text of the Rosetta stone and his deduction that hieroglyphs were a phonetic alphabet. That ostensibly forced from Young this full account of his researches, discoveries and their consequent acceptance and use by Champollion. Young is peevish in his determination to retain the term 'enchorial' rather than Champollion's 'demotic' on the grounds of precedence; he is not gentle when describing the errors of his predecessors and contemporaries; and he relishes the over-reaching cupidity of Drovetti, the French Consul at Alexandria who, upon realizing that he owns an inscription greatly desired by Young, holds out for too much for too long, by which time new discoveries make his treasure obsolete. But Young is equally generous in his praise of many of his fellow scholars and, however much it seems to grate at times, gives full recognition to Champollion - given that we understand how much Champollion's successes rest upon Young's original ingenuity. He excuses his foray into the hieroglyphic world as his "Jubilee Year" - time and effort honorably earned from his scientific and medical work and reminds us that his remarkable work in one field should not dim the brilliance of his efforts in the other. Not all of this book is dredging up old news. He descibes and translates some texts lent to him by George Grey which provided some remarkable discoveries, making this book "the last milestone in Young's distinguished Egyptological career" (Iversen).
AUD 1100.00 [Appr.: EURO 780.5 US$ 842.81 | £UK 674 | JP¥ 93731] Book number 8097

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