LIFE OF SAMUEL JOHNSON
LIFE OF SAMUEL JOHNSON
LIFE OF SAMUEL JOHNSON

LIFE OF SAMUEL JOHNSON

(London: Printed by Henry Baldwin for Charles Dilly, in the Poultry, 1791).

IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION, FIRST STATE IN PLEASING CONDITION. Celebrated for its intimacy and vividness, Boswell's Life of Johnson "is one of the best books in the world. It is assuredly a great, very great work. Homer is not more decidedly the first of heroic Poets,--Shakespeare is not more decidedly the first of Dramatists,--Demosthenes is not more decidedly the first of Orators, than Boswell is the first of Biographers..." (Macauley, in the Edinburgh Review, 1831). Boswell learned a great deal about the art of biography from his subject, and brought to his task boundless curiosity, persistence, and zest.
Boswell had been collecting material for this work since his first interview with Johnson in 1763, and was confident that his kind of biography, "which gives not only a History of Johnson's visible progress through the world, and of his publications, but a view of his mind in his letters and conversations, is the most perfect that can be conceived, and will be more of a Life than any work that has ever yet appeared." He said too that: “A sanction to my faculty of giving a just representation of Dr. Johnson I could not conceal. Nor will I suppress my satisfaction in the consciousness, that by recording so considerable a portion of the wit and wisdom of the brightest ornament of the eigteenth century, I have largely provided for the instruction and entertainment of mankind.” If Bosell does indulge in a little harmless flattery to himself, the concluding words of his preface are literally true, for Boswell’s Johnson, as much as any othe
Only 1750 copies of the first edition were printed. Item #31227

2 volumes. First Edition, First Issue, with 'gve' on p.135 of the first volume; Mm4 and Nn1 in Volume I and E3, Qq3, and Eee2 in Volume II are cancels as called for. With round robin plate, signatures page, portrait frontispiece. 4to (275 x 210 mm.), full contemporary mottled calf, the spines with raised bands separating the compartments, the bands ruled in gilt, two compartments with terra-cotta-red morocco lettering labels gilt, the covers with double gilt fillet rules at the borders, gilt tooled edges, original endleaves. xii, (16), 516; 588 pp. A handsome and fine set with the bindings in excellent condition, sometime expertly and very sympathetically renewed at the spines to style. A very pleasing set quite clean and crisp throughout.

Price: $12,500.00