Biography of Peter Mark Roget
At age twenty-three, Peter Mark Roget started out on a continental tour with two sons of a wealthy Manchester merchant, to whom he acted as tutor. When the Peace of Amiens was breached, Peter found himself at Geneva, a prisoner-on-parole of the French (Napoleon had annexed Geneva to France a few years earlier). Peter gained his freedom by pleading the Genevan – and thus French – citizenship of his family and made his way back to England late in 1803. At age twenty-six, Peter joined the medical staff of the Public Infirmary at Manchester and made a name for himself in that city by giving a series of lectures on medical subjects.
Peter’s voracious thirst for knowledge
Peter’s voracious thirst for knowledge and his appetite for work led him into many other fields, He played an important role in the establishment of the University of London; he was the founder of the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge and wrote for it a series of popular manuals; he devised a slide rule and spent much time trying to perfect a calculating machine; he showed remarkable resourcefulness in inventing and solving chess problems and designed an inexpensive pocket chessboard. In 1828, he became the head of a commission to study the water supply of London, he issued a report that was the first of its kind; but, even though it graphically documented the simultaneous use of the Thames for sewage disposal and drinking water, the government took no action on its sound recommendations for pollution control.
1848 Dr. Roget began preparing the book for publication
However, in 1886 Mr. Thomas Y. Crowell purchased Roget’s property and published the first Crowell edition. Then in 1911, as one of the last acts in his distinguished career, he published a revised and reset edition which contained many additional words and phrases. In 1922, Mr. Crowell’s son – Mr. T. Irving Crowell, undertook another edition for publication. Again revised and reset, it was greatly expanded, most especially with Americanisms and with a generous increase in foreign expressions. The title was changed to Roget’s International Thesaurus I.
In 1946, Thomas Y. Crowell’s grandson – carried the work forward with Roget’s International Thesaurus II – there were much slang and substandard speech added, together with useful quotations. The old parallel arrangement of synonyms against antonyms was converted into a more efficient tandem format. Paragraphs were numbered and the book was equipped with a decimal finding for the user’s convenience.
In 1962, Roget’s International Thesaurus III appeared
The Roget’s International Thesaurus is categorized in different classes: Class One to Class Eight.
- Class One - about Abstract Relations: Existence, Relation, Quantity, Order, Number, Time, Change, Event, Causation and Power.
- Class Two - about Space: Space in General, Dimensions, Structure; Form and Motion
- Class Three - about Physics: Physics, Heat, Light, Electricity and electronics, Mechanics, Physical Properties and Color
- Class Four - about Matter: Matter in General, Inorganic Matter and Organic Matter
- Class Five - about Sensation: Sensation in General, Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight and Hearing
- Class Six - about Intellect: Intellectual Faculties and Processes, State of Mind and Communication of Ideas
- Class Seven - about Volition: Volition in General, Conditions, Voluntary Action, Authority; Control, Support and Opposition and Possessive Relations
- Class Eight - about Affections: Personal Affections, Sympathetic Affections, Morality and Religion
Now the Roget’s International Thesaurus is already available online. Everyone can access it for words and phrases; for synonyms and antonyms and etc. Thanks to Dr. Peter Mark Roget and his family and to the Crowell’s family and the group of his writers and researchers for this extraordinary invention!
- Encyclopedia Britannica
- Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia
- Roget’s Thesaurus
- Roget’s International Thesaurus