Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.


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BOSWELL, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., Including A Journal of His Tour to the Hebrides. London: John Murray, 1835. Ten volumes. Small octavo, 20th-century full tan morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and covers with Art Nouveau rose motifs, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.

Lovely set of Boswell’s celebrated biography of Samuel Johnson and his Tour to the Hebrides, illustrated with frontispieces, engraved title pages and plates by Edward Finden. Beautifully bound by Bayntun of Bath in full tan polished morocco finely gilt-tooled with Art Nouveau rose motifs.

"Boswell excelled in insight into human nature and in ability to dramatize a situation… It was a crucial part of Boswell's magic to give significance and vitality to the apparently trivial; it is this trait, together with his notable accuracy and unparalleled completeness of portraiture, that made him… 'the Shakespeare of biographers" (Baugh et al., 1065-66). First published in 1791, this later edition contains additional material in the form of anecdotes supplied by Hawkins, Piozzi, Murphy, Tyers, Reynolds, and Steevens. It is illustrated with steel-engraved frontispieces and title pages by Edward Finden, and includes 21 finely engraved plates of people, places and facsimile letters, and one folding map showing the route of Johnson's tour of the Hebrides. Finden's work was in such great demand that he produced, in co-operation with his brother William, various galleries of separate engravings— many of which were based upon his book illustrations. Bookplate.

A stunning set in fine condition.

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