AN ACCOUNT OF CORSICA, The Journal of a Tour to that Island; and Memoirs of Pascal Paoli

(London: For Edward and Charles Dilly in the Poultry, 1768).

THE FIRST ENGLISH PRINTING OF BOSWELL'S FIRST SIGNIFICANT WORK, ONE WHICH WOULD HELP LAUNCH HIS FAME AS ONE OF THE FINEST MEN OF LETTERS OF HIS AGE. This edition was published only months after the first edition, which was an immediate success and sold out within six weeks. This edition also sold out within weeks.
Boswell supported the Corsican struggle to become an independent nation and considered himself one of the island's chief sponsors. ""Following the island's invasion by France, in 1768, Boswell attempted to raise public awareness and rally support for the Corsicans. He sent arms and money to the Corsican fighters, and made an arduous and dangerous journey to Corsica to meet General Pasquale Paoli, leader of the insurgents seeking the island's independence from the Genoese. Paoli at first suspected [Boswell] was a spy, but quickly came to like his improbable young visitor, saw an opportunity for promotion of the Corsican cause in Britain, and consented to a series of interviews" - Pierce
The text includes Boswell's keen observations on many topics, including military matters and arms, commerce, government, and religion. It also includes many accounts of his own experiences.
Boswell was, rightfully, very proud of this work. Within his lifetime it went through many, many editions. Within just a short time of its original appearance it had been translated into Dutch, Italian, German, and French; and sold as well abroad as it did in Britain. It was in fact a most remarkable success and the first step towards one of the most distinguished literary careers of the age.
Concerning the provenance, it has been claimed that the family of Baskerville can trace descent from the Emperor Charlemagne, Hugh Capet King of France, Kenneth King of Scotland, Rodrick King of Wales and MacMorrough King of Leinster in Ireland. The Baskervilles have a truly royal ancestry, and their pedigree, which has been authentically deduced and duly registered in the College of Arms, is a large one. Burke writes of the family as 'one of the most ancient and honorable in England.
Their connection with Herefordshire began with the ancestor who came over to help William the Conqueror, from Normandy. Item #30119

The First English Edition, the second overall, in the same year as the first which was printed in Glasgow and ia essentially identical. With fine provenance, a Baskerville family copy with bookplate showing one of their crests and their motto, Spero ut Fidelis, "Illustrated with a new and accurate map of Corsica", an exceptionally well detailed, well pressed and attractive large folding engraved map bound at the front. With half-title which is frequently lacking, title-page with engraved vignette featuring the arms of Corsica. 8vo, handsomely bound in full contemporary calf, the spine with double gilt ruled raised bands, one compartment gilt lettered, the boards framed with double-fillet gilt rules, board edges hatched in blind, original endleaves. xxiii, 384 pp. A handsome copy well preserved in its original binding, with the text in fine condition, especially fresh and clean, and with strong impression, the leaves unpressed and the binding sturdy and tight, with just a bit of minor wear or rubbing along the tips and shoulders, some normal offset to a few prelims and end leaves from the original binder's work. The folding map is in a fine state of preservation, unusually so.

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Price: $1,500.00