“AMONG THE MOST DELIGHTFUL IN THE LANGUAGE”: HANDSOMELY BOUND FIRST EDITION OF MADAME D'ARBLAY’S DIARY AND LETTERS, WITH ACCOUNTS OF JOHNSON AND BOSWELL
D’ARBLAY, Madame. Diary and Letters of Madame D’Arblay. Edited by Her Niece. London: Henry Colburn, 1842-46. Seven volumes. Octavo, 19th-century three-quarter blue morocco, marbled boards, raised bands, gilt-decorated spines, marlbed endpapers, top edges gilt. $1500.
First edition, with engraved portraits of Madame D’Arblay, General D’Arblay, Queen Charlotte, Charles Burney, and others. Handsomely bound by Root and Son.
D’Arblay, better known by her maiden name, Fanny Burney, wrote the extremely popular novels Evelina, Cecilia and Camilla. Her works had a great influence on Jane Austen, who took the title Pride and Prejudice from the last pages of Cecilia. “Madame d’Arblay's diary is now more interesting than her novels. The descriptions of Mr. Thrale and Johnson and Boswell himself rival Boswell's own work” (DNB). “These volumes are among the most delightful in the language… To the mere novel-reader they are charming; to the student of literary history and English manners, invaluable” (Allibone I, 475).
A few spots of foxing to preliminaries; spines evenly sunned to brown. A near-fine set.