The Complete French Master. For Ladies and Gentlemen
De Beer Sb 1776 B
Edinburgh: Printed for J. Bell, [and 3 others]
In 1539, the Edict of Villers-Cotterêts established that French was the official language for legal documents in France. In the 17th century, it became the language of diplomacy and international relations. Surpassed by English in the 19th century, it remains – at least to romantics – the language of love. There is now a ‘standard French’, which in many cases replaces the regional dialects such as langue d’oc (in the south), langue d’oïl (north), and Gallo (the Celtic Breton area). In his dedication to this eight edition of The Complete French Master, Abel Boyer (c.1667-1729), an Anglo-French lexicographer, writes that French was ‘reckoned part of a genteel education’. Many of the 80-90 million native speakers of French today would heartily agree.
Abel Boyer, “The Complete French Master. For Ladies and Gentlemen,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed September 30, 2023, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/10571.