Some random trivia here. In the Masterpiece Theatre version of Jane Eyre, St. John hands Jane a couple books and tells her to begin learning a new language. This was his typically controlling way of telling her she was going to become a missionary with him as well as his wife. Curious about which language she was to be learning, I paused the DVD and found the title was A Dictionary of English to Shosa. Shosa is spelt Xhosa in modern times, and is one of the official languages of South Africa (and spoken by 7.9 million people). In the movie, it is indeed “the Cape” that they would be travelling to and I think South Africa is mentioned elsewhere. I was unable to find any mention of this book on Google.
If anyone knows of any good resources for searching for books from the 19th Century, I’d love for you to leave me a comment with your suggestions. Even more so if you actually find the book.