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Princeton, MA
USA
01541
Contact James Gray
Telephone (001) 617-678-4517
Mobile (001) 617-678-4517
Specialists Early Printed Books, English Literature, Religion, Theology, 17th Century Books, Incunabula
James Gray Booksellers LLC
Stand G06

Zeiglographia

Thomas Shelton 1601-1650

Zeiglographia. or A New art of never before published. More easie, exact, short, and speedie than any here to fore. Invented & composed By Thomas Shelton Author and teacher of ye said art Allowed by Authoritie., London: Printed by M.[ary] S.[immons] And are to be sold at the Author’s house in Bore’s Head Court by Cripple-Gate, 1659. 1659

Counting the unrecorded first, this would be the fifth edition. “A re-issue of the 1654 edition with the same title page except for the alteration of the date to 1659.”
This copy is in a well-used state. The leaves are all slightly stained and dog-eared. Paper repairs have corrected many of the curling corners. It has been strengthened and bound in a fulll modern full calf in an aproprate style .

The Shelton short hand systems were used by Samuel Pepys, Thomas Jefferson and Sir Isaac Newton. “Thomas Shelton [a] stenographer, descended from an old Norfolk family, was born in 1601. It is probable that he began life as a writing-master, and that he was teaching and studying shorthand before he was nineteen, for in 1649 he speaks of having had more than thirty years’ study and practice of the art. He produced his first book, called ‘Short Writing, the most exact method,’ in 1626, but no copy of this is known to exist. In 1630 he brought out the second edition enlarged, which was ‘sould at the professors house in Cheapside, over against Bowe church.’ He is styled ‘author and professor of the said art.’ Another edition was published in London in 1636. In February 1637-8 he published his most popular work, called ‘Tachygraphy. The most exact and compendious methode of Shorthand Swift Writing that hath ever yet beene published by any ... Approved by both Universities.’ It was republished in 1642, and in the same year Shelton brought out a catechism or ‘Tutor to Tachygraphy,’ the author’s residence being then in Old Fish Street. In 1645 he was teaching his ‘Tachygraphy’ at ‘the professors house, in the Poultry, near the Church.’ Editions of this work continued to be published down to 1710.“Shelton, who was a zealous puritan, published in 1640, ‘A Centurie of Similies,’ and in the same year he was cited to appear before the court of high commission, but the offense with which he was charged is not specified. In 1649 his second system of stenography appeared under the title of ‘Zeiglographia, or a New Art of Short Writing never before published, more easie, exact, short, and speedie than heretofore. Invented and composed by Thomas Shelton, being his last thirty years study.’ It is remarkable that the alphabet differs from the tachygraphy of 1641 in every respect excepting the letters q, r, v, and z. It is, in fact, an entirely original system. dsc_0167On its appearance Shelton was still living in the Poultry, and there he probably died in or before October 1650. The book continued to be published down to 1687.“Many subsequent writers copied Shelton or published adaptations of his best known system of ‘tachygraphy,’ which was extensively used and highly popular. Old documents between 1640 and 1700, having shorthand signs on them, may often be deciphered by Shelton’s characters, though the practice of adding arbitrary signs sometimes proves a stumbling block. It was in this system that Pepys wrote his celebrated Diary, and not, as frequently stated, in the system erroneously attributed to Jeremiah Rich.“An adaptation of the system to the Latin language appeared under the title of ‘Tachygraphia, sive exactissima et compendiosissima breviter scribendi methodus,’ London, 1660, 16mo. This adaptation was described and illustrated in Gaspar Schott’s ‘Technica Curiosa,’ published at Nuremberg in 1665. It was slightly modified by Charles Aloysius Ramsay, who published it in France as his own.“About 1660 there appeared in London, in 64mo, ‘The whole book of Psalms in meeter according to that most exact & compendious method of short writing composed by Thomas Shelton (being his former hand) approved by both universities & learnt by many thousands.’ It is uncertain whether Shelton’s or Rich’s Psalms were published first. They appeared nearly together; both were engraved by T. Cross; and the size of each is 2.5 x 1.5 inches.” (quoted from the DNB)

Bibliography
Wing S-3093 Five copies in the US: Folger ,Huntington ,New York Public ,Washington University, Yale :Westby-Gibson, p. 201-202; Galland, bibliography of cryptology, p. 169.

Edition
The first edition is reported to have been printed in 1649, the Address

Condition
This copy is bound in an age appropriate full calf binding

Binding
It has been strengthened and bound in a fulll modern full calf in an aproprate style .
£2,500