Brachygraphy: or an easy and Compendious System of Short-Hand, Adapted to the Various Arts, Sciences and Professions. Improved after more than Forty Years Practice & Experience by Thomas Gurney: And Brought still nearer to Perfection upon the present Method by Joseph Gurney. The Twelfth Edition.

  • Gurney, Thomas
  • London: Printed for J. and M. Gurney. Sold by M. Gurney 1795


SKU: 5968 Category: Tag:


SIGNED AND NUMBERED BY THE EDITOR, 16mo, pp. [ii], 76 + frontispiece and 6 double-sided leaves of plates. Title-page engraved. Contemporary marbled polished calf, spine divided by gilt rules. A touch of spotting, a few ink smudges. A little rubbed, wear to extremities. Struck-through inscriptions of C. Young to pastedown and title-page, inscription of H.W.H. to flyleaf dated 1811, some figures within text in manuscript as issued, p. 76 numbered and signed by Joseph Gurney.


The production of this guide to writing shorthand was a family affair for the Gurneys: Thomas (1705-1770) had first published his system, adapted from that of William Mason, in 1750, and his son Joseph (1744-1815) began edited it following Thomas's death, beginning with the 1775 ninth edition. The M. Gurney of the imprint is Joseph's sister Martha (1733-1816), a bookseller who printed in collaboration with Joseph, as here. This copy is signed by Joseph and numbered 5866; The Bodleian's copy is numbered 5696 and the one in the British Library 5912. The BL copy of the 10th edition of 1785 is similarly signed and numbered 4821 so it seems Joseph is recording total copies across all editions; it is also plausibly his hand which provides the manuscript shorthand symbols in the letterpress.
Further editions followed into the nineteenth century, latterly edited by Joseph's son William Brodie Gurney (1777-1855).

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