BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON Including Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a Journey into North Wales. Edited by George Birkbeck Hill, D.C.L. Pembroke College, Oxford

(Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1887).

FIRST EDITION OF THIS FINE CLARENDON PRESS EDITION OF BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON AND OTHER WORKS. 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 Boswell 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 other book, “has largely provided for the instruction and entertainment of mankind.”
The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides is the famous account of Boswell and Johnson’s tour to the North in 1773, including some original poems by Johnson never before published and numerous “literary anecdotes and opinions of men and books.” This tour proved to be inspirational for both men; Johnson published A JOURNEY TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND in 1775 and Boswell, in addition to this work, used his notes from the tour extensively in his LIFE OF JOHNSON, published in 1791.
Volume VI is a very extensive study of the works of Johnson including a diagram of his contemporaries, a significant section on the Titles of Works Quoted in the Notes, an Addenda of Autograph Letters, and etc., and a very extensive indes and Dicta Philosophi. Item #31505

6 volumes. First of the Edition. With fourteen engraved illustrations including, a number of portraits of Johnson from Sir Joshua Reynolds' paintings, from Opie's portrait, and many facsimiles of Johnson's handwriting, the Round Robin plate, a map of johnson and Boswell's tour through the Hebrides and a chart of Johnson's contemporaries. 8vo, handsomely bound in contemporary three-quarter forest-green morocco over marbled paper covered boards, the spines with raised bands, two compartments lettered in gilt, marbled endleaves to match, top edges gilt. xxvii, [1 errata], 522; 480; [vi], 464; [vi], 446; [viii], 460; lxxiv[ii], 324 pp. A very well preserved and handsome set, the bindings are tight and show only minor age or evidence of use with a little rubbing and evidence of shelving, Volume I has been rehinged, the text-blocks and plates are all in excellent condition, the spine panels, as usual with green morocco or calf bindings have mellowed a bit to a honey-green.

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Price: $850.00