BOSWELL'S LIFE OF JOHNSON, THE FIRST TO CONTAIN A BIBLIOGRAPHY
BOSWELL, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson. Comprehending an Account of his Studies and Numerous Works… a Series of his Epistolary Correspondence and Conversations with Many Eminent Persons; And Various Original Pieces of His Composition, Never Before Published… London: Printed for Henry Baldwin for Charles Dilly, 1793. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red straight-grain morocco over red morocco boards, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled endpapers. $2000.
Second edition and first octavo edition, the last edition to be published in Boswell's lifetime, with engraved frontispiece portrait of Johnson and two folding plates.
"The Life of Johnson was written on a scale practically unknown to biographers before Boswell…. Wherever English is spoken, it has become a veritable sacred book and has pervaded English life and thought" (Seccombe). This second edition of the Life of Johnson was revised and augmented and was the first to contain the bibliography of Johnson's writings; it was also the last to published before Boswell's death in 1795. With the leaf of "Additional Corrections" in Volume I, often missing. Rothschild 468. Contemporary owner signatures on title page, occasional marginal notations.
Interior generally quite clean, marginal tears to leaves Oo3 and Oo4 in Volume I, not affecting text. Binding handsome.