First Marathi-English dictionary
A Dictionary of the Mahratta Language.
First edition. 8vo, 18 x 12 cm; pp.vii, [1, blank], 652. Bound in contemporary calf over marbled boards, spine and corners rubbed. Some margins stained, but still a very good unsophisticated copy. Stamp of Dominican Museum Library to title-page.
The first Marathi-English dictionary published, compiled by William Carey, founder of the Baptist Mission at Serampore in Bengal. It contains some 10,000 words with definitions, the majority of entries consisting of single lines, giving it the appearance of a pocket dictionary. Carey prepared this dictionary primarily for students of the College of Fort William at Calcutta, where he taught, and his compilation owed a great deal, as he acknowledged, to Vaidyanath, the chief Marathi pundit in the College. The dictionary is printed with cursive Modi types cast at Serampore in the preceding few years. His pioneering effort was preceded only by the lexical portion of Robert Drummond's Illustrations of the grammatical parts of the Guzerattee, Mahratta and English languages (Bombay, 1808), but most of the dictionary had been printed before Carey was able to consult a copy of that work. Carey's work would not be superseded until Colonel Vans Kennedy's A dictionary of the Maratha language in two parts was published at Bombay in 1824.