I'm interested in finding books that explain English grammar (as much of it and in as much depth as possible), written by scholars from the late 17th/early 18th century. Which do you recommend? Could you please provide a link e.g. to a pdf, where they can be read online?

I found three books from this period: Joseph Aickin's The English grammar (1693), Guy Miège's The English grammar (1688), and Christopher Cooper's Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae (1685), but I couldn't find them online. Could you please provide links to where I can read them, preferably the original versions, rather than reprints?

I'm also interested in finding books about English phonology, likewise written by English late 17th/early 18th century scholars. Could you please recommend some, and provide links to them (preferably original versions)? If books about English phonology didn't exist then, please provide links to phonology books that are as close to that time period as possible. Many thanks!

  • There is a Wikipedia article on this
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 13:07
  • Are you more interested in references written -at that time- (ca 1700) about the contemporary state of affairs, or are you more interested in current (early 21st c) accounts of the ~1700 time period? My impression is that you are asking for the former, but those are likely not to be as scientifically robust as the latter. ie I don't think the science of phonology or syntax was very well developed around 1700.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 14:11
  • @StuartF Thanks, I know, that is where I found the three grammars that I mentioned. Now I'm trying to find the actual text, as well as some more recommendation on books, and books about phonology. Do you know where I can find the actual books as PDF? Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 14:14
  • @Mitch Correct, I am more interested in 1690s-1700s books about the grammar and phonology at that time, written by scholars from that time, even though it was less developed. Do you know where I can find some PDFs? Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 14:16
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    Google Books makes a 1685 edition of Cooper's Grammatica available to read in its entirety. The book is written in Latin.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jun 15, 2023 at 20:37
  • @Mari-LouA Thanks! Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 11:22
  • @SvenYargs Thanks! Just what I was looking for. Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


Although Google Books and Hathitrust report multiple copies of both Aickin's grammar and Miège's grammar, none of the copies are available for reading in full on those sites. It is unclear to me what theory of copyright applies to books written more than 300 years ago, but evidently these sites are sufficiently cowed by some claimant to refrain from including readable copies of either book.

On the other hand a number seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century books that address English grammar (as the term was then understood) either centrally or tangentially are available online. Here, arranged chronologically, are some that may be of interest to you:

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    Thank you so much, that is invaluable! Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 11:25

The Rudiments of English Grammar by Joseph Priestly, first published in 1761

This pdf version, edition 1772, is downloadable from Archive.org

The Royal English Grammar: Containing what is Necessary to the Knowledge of the English Tongue by James Greenwood. First published in 1711; 2nd edition, 1722; 3rd edition, 1729; the 4th edition, 1737, is in the link below.

This version is also downloadable from Archive.org

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    Awesome, thank you so much! Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 11:28
  • Glad to be of service :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jun 16, 2023 at 11:33

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