Grammar for the ages: a royal intervention

January 31, 2017

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 31st January 2017, written by Hedwig Gwosdek, editor of Lily's Grammar of Latin in English:

Latin Letters
"The history of English grammar is shrouded in mystery. It’s generally thought to begin in the late sixteenth century, with William Bullokar’s Pamphlet for Grammar (1586) — but where did Bullokar’s inspiration come from? In these times, the structure and rules of English grammar were constructed and contrasted with the Latin. Bullokar wrote his treatise with the intention of proving that English was bound by just as many rules as Latin, and for this, he borrowed heavily from a pre-existing text: William Lily’s Latin Grammar.

No other textbook has been used for such a long period of time in English schools as Lily’s Latin Grammar. It was prescribed by Henry VIII in 1540 as the authorized an obligatory text, to be used in all schools across the country..."

Read the rest of this article on the OUPblog >

Image Credit: “Latin Letters” by Tfioreze. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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