“ONLY SECOND TO BOSWELL’S LIFE OF JOHNSON”: LEIGH HUNT’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, HANDSOMELY BOUND
HUNT, Leigh. Autobiography of Leigh Hunt; with Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries. London: Smith, Elder, 1850. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter English tan polished calf gilt, red and brown morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $700.
First edition of Hunt’s autobiography, providing first-hand reminiscences of the most prominent Romantic poets of his time, including Byron, Keats and Shelley, with frontispiece portraits of Hunt in each volume, handsomely bound by Rivière & Son.
Hunt’s Autobiography has been called “one of the most graceful and genial chronicles of its kind. Carlyle reckoned it only second to Boswell’s Life of Johnson” (DNB). His personal contact with the more prominent poets of his time established him as a bona fide critic and contributing force to a richly creative period, providing significant insight into the nature of Romantic tastes. The Autobiography contains reminiscences about his friends and contemporaries, including Keats, Lamb, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Thomas Moore, Samuel Johnson, Napoleon, and many others. In it Hunt retracts some of his earlier sharp criticism and acknowledges pleasure at having survived years of literary warfare. Later owner signature. Booklabel of renowned bibliophile Abel E. Berland.
Text lightly embrowned, dampstain to bottom corner of a few leaves in Volume II, small chip to frontispiece in Volume III. A handsomely bound copy.