"WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE THE FEELINGS OF OTHERS BY WHAT WE MIGHT FEEL IN THEIR PLACE": 1766 FIRST ISSUE OF GOLDSMITH'S CLASSIC THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
GOLDSMITH, Oliver. The Vicar of Wakefield. Salisbury: Printed by B. Collins for F. Newberry, 1766. Two volumes. 12mo, 19th-century full tan calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, green morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. $6200.
First edition, first issue, of Goldsmith's best-known novel, beautifully bound by Bedford.
The Vicar of Wakefield has long charmed readers "in part due to the imaginative glow that Goldsmith so effortlessly casts over the action… and to his flexible and easy style" (Baugh, et al., 1061). As celebrated as the novel itself is the account which grew up around it regarding Dr. Johnson's hand in seeing it published. "Boswell tells the story that Johnson was one morning called in by Goldsmith, whose landlady had arrested him for his rent. Johnson found that Goldsmith had a novel ready for press, took it to a publisher, sold it for 60 pounds, and brought back the sum, which enabled Goldsmith to pay his rent and rate his landlady" (DNB). First issue, with the misprint "Waekefield" in running headline in Volume II, page 95. Variant (2), with no catchword on page 213 of Volume I, pages 39 and 159 in Volume II correctly printed. Rothschild 1028.
Text fine, only minor wear to handsome calf binding. A beautiful copy.