In 1852, the first printed edition of the book was published. It was a catalog of words organized by their meanings. The title of the book was composed of Twenty-two English words equivalent to One Hundred Twenty alphabet letters. The compilation of the said book started in 1805 and after at least forty-seven long years, the book was on paper for public use.
The title of the book was – Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate The Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. It was Peter Mark Roget who authored the book. In numerology, the number twenty-two means – the master builder, dreams made manifest, ancient wisdom, realization, force of nature, the future, evolution, technology, universal love, personal power, charisma and service. They all reflected Dr. Peter Mark Roget’s characteristic and personality.
Biography of Peter Mark Roget
Peter Mark Roget was born on January 18, 1779, in Broad - now Broad-wick Street, a few blocks from Soho Square. He was the son of John Roget, who was hailed from Geneva and was a pastor of a French Protestant church in Soho. His mother, Catherine was a sister of Sir Samuel Romilly, the renowned law reformer. Peter was five when his father died. In 1793 Peter and his mother moved to Edinburgh and in that year, at Fourteen, Peter entered the university there and graduated from the medical school at the early age of nineteen, and soon distinguished himself by research on subjects such as pulmonary consumption and the effects of laughing gas.
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
In 1808, he moved to London – to advance his career. There, in 1810, Peter helped establish a charity clinic, the Northern Dispensary and contributed his services to it for eighteen years. He gained eminence as a lecturer on medical and other subjects and he continued his work for nearly fifty years. During those years, he became a member of the Medical and Chirurgical Society and edited its transactions for twelve years. In 1815 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society and served as its secretary for more than twenty years. He became the examiner in physiology in the University of London. He wrote numerous papers on physiology and health – among them On Animal and vegetable Physiology in 1834, and a two volume work on phrenology in 1838, and articles for several editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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
Dr. Peter Mark Roget retired from professional life in 1840 and about 1848 he began preparing for publication the one work that was to perpetuate his memory. This was a catalog of words organized by its meanings. During his lifetime the work had twenty-eight printings from the year the “thesaurus” as Dr. Peter Mark Roget called it (from the Greek and Latin, meaning “treasury” or “storehouse”) was first printed in 1852; after Peter’s death – it was revised and expanded by his son –Dr. John Lewis Roget, and later by John’s son, Samuel Romilly Roget. Dr. Peter Mark Roget died at West Malvern on September 12, 1869, at the age of ninety.
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
In 1962, Roget’s International Thesaurus III appeared with 45,000 new terms together with numerous words without synonyms classified in special lists. To make the book even easier to use, all key words were set in boldface type. In 1977, the book was again modernized and improved with 250,000 useful words and phrases and was published as Roget’s International Thesaurus IV and was edited by Robert L. Chapman.
The Roget’s International Thesaurus is categorized in different classes: Class One to Class Eight.
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!
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