The Characters of Theophrastus, With a Strictly Literal Translation of the Greek into Latin and With Notes and Observations on the Text, In English: For the Benefit of Hertford College.By the late R[ichard] Newton, D.D. and Principal

Oxford: Printed; and to be had of R. Clements and J. Fletcher…[et al.], 1754. First edition. Main text in Greek and Latin on facing pages. Extensive notes and observations in English. Covers rubbed, corners worn. Armorial bookplate of William Frere (1775-1836), master of Downing College and later vice-chancellor of Cambridge University. Later pencil notations by a later student, one dated 1932. A little light foxing. A good copy. Contemporary calf, rubbed, rebacked with old spine laid down. Octavo. XII, 258 pp. (Item ID: 15495)


The translator/compiler is Richard Newton (1676-1753) was educated at Christ Church College Oxford, becoming a doctor of divinity in 1710. In 1710 he became principal of Hart Hall in Oxford, where he tried to implement educational reforms. Running into opposition, he oversaw its transformation into Hertford Colege. "Its statutes were the work of Newton and embodied his ideas on education… He would oversee tutors and students with equal strictness. Regular and rigorous academic exercises were to guarantee scholastic standards. Great power reposed in the principal, who doubled as bursar. The principal, in a manner more appropriate to a hall than to a college, selected fellows. Future principals, following Newton's own example, were to be chosen exclusively from alumni of Westminster and Christ Church. Newton was keen, too, that an economical regime should attract undergraduates from less affluent backgrounds and compete for members against other colleges within the university. As principal he watched vigilantly over the domestic economy of the house. He calculated that the annual expenses of an undergraduate could be cut to about £31. He also waged an unavailing battle against the distractions that seduced the young from their studies. His frugal regimen at Hertford of ‘small-beer and apple dumplings’ was easily mocked"(Oxford DNB). An able translator, he produced this as part of his academic work, and it was published posthumously.

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