Burchfield a Jane Austen fan

R.W. Burchfield (1923-2004) was not only the author of the third edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage – which Wikipedia labels as a “controversial, substantially rewritten and less prescriptivist” version of the book: he was also responsible for the second Supplement of the Oxford English Dictionary, published between 1972 and 1986. When the second edition of the OED was published in 1989, it included Burchfield’s Supplement, and with it came the ca. 350 quotations from Jane Austen that Burchfield added to the dictionary according to Brewer (2012:94). This suggests that he must have been a fan of her. The next question to ask is if he referred as frequently to Jane Austen in his version of Modern English Usage as well.

Brewer, Charlotte(2012). “Happy Copiousness”? OED’s Recording of Female Authors of the Eighteenth Century. The Review of English Studies NS 63 no. 258, 86-117.

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