Barras, Rue du Tertre, St. Andrew's, Guernsey: 25 March, 1965 / 1968. Card Covers. Two self-published tracts by this Oxford lexicographer, attacking viciously and detailing the terrible errors of his adversaries at the Oxford University Press, including Kenneth Sisam, Alexander Souter, and R. W. Chapman, as well as his own wife and many others. Slanders: Crown 8vo (196 x 118mm): xiv,142, with frontispiece. Original pink mimeographed (stencil-duplicated) stapled card wrappers, title page and "A Prayer to Her Majesty The Queen" printed in red and black. Great Betrayal: Crown 8vo (204 x 137mm): xii,3-32,pp, with folding printed order form still bound in. Stapled paper self-wrappers, front cover printed in read and black. Superb copies, spine of Slanders lightened a degree or two, else both tracts virtually pristine. Fine. Item #BB2348
In 1929, Kenneth Sisam hired Wyllie to work on the first Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary. Wyllie’s job was to act as Oxford lieutenant to W. A. Craigie, one of two surviving editors of the OED, who was then based in Chicago, processing the slips he submitted into dictionary copy and thus, in effect, putting Wyllie in competition with the team working under C. T. Onions, the second surviving original editor. In 1933, following completion of the Supplement, Wyllie acted as keeper of what were known as ‘the OED collections’ – records of errors and omissions from either the OED or the Supplement. But in October, 1953, Wyllie suffered a severe mental breakdown. "Over the next few years, under the pseudonym ‘The Barras Seer’, Wyllie issued a stream of pamphlets on such matters as sin, sex, enlightenment, and the devil, printed by himself and copied on his own duplicator. These included one entitled The Oxford Dictionary Slanders: The Greatest Scandal in the Whole History of Scholarship, which reproduced various open letters to the prime minister, the lord chancellor, and Oxford University’s vice-chancellor, detailing the terrible errors of his adversaries Sisam, Chapman, Souter, and others." (See Examining the OED online) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).