Ahead of its day

From the OUP blog, thanks to Language Hat:
One of these [dictionary proposals] ... was decidedly for a niche market. “A Russian-English and English-Russian Military Vocabulary” was proposed in 1896 by a Lieutenant A. Mears. .. [A]ccording to the files the proposal was declined “in the absence of any intimation that such a work would receive the patronage of the War Office”.

One can't help thinking that the War Office was rather myopic nixing Lt. Mears' proposal - just 8 years before the Russian-Japanese War (of considerable interest to British and American observers) and 18 years before the outbreak of WWI (which was to be followed, of course, by the British and US involvement in the Russian Civil War...). Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (1842-1885) (of the Ride to Khiva fame), had he been alive, probably would not have appreciated that!

UPDATE: Actually, it appears that Arthur Mears was successful with publishing his dictionary, after all! At least Google Books is aware of it: Arthur MEARS, English and Russian Military Vocabulary, London, 1898. 127 pages The text of the dictionary is not available for viewing on Google Books, but here's a contemporary one-page review by Arthur A. Sykes.

It is mentioned elsewhere that the cloth-bound volume, published by David Nutt, could be purchased for 5 shilling.

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