"TERRIBLY AFRAID OF FREE-THINKING, THOUGH NOT HOSTILE TO FREE-EATING": POTTER'S THE ART OF CRITICISM, 1789 FIRST EDITION, ATTACKING DR. JOHNSON AND HIS LIVES OF THE POETS
(JOHNSON, Samuel) [POTTER, Robert]. The Art of Criticism; as Exemplified in Dr. Johnson's Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. London: T. Hookham, 1789. Octavo, contemporary full tan sprinkled calf sympathetically rebacked, raised bands, black morocco spine label, renewed endpapers. $350.
First edition of Potter's treatise on criticism, tackling Dr. Johnson's Lives of the English Poets and at times Dr. Johnson himself.
Potter achieved fame through his skillful translations of the Greek tragedians Aeschylus (1777) and Euripides (1781-82). He then decided to translate one of the Pindaric odes with an accompanying essay on contemporary lyric poetry. "Under Mrs. Montagu's influence this work was transformed into one of the chorus of pamphlets attacking Johnson's Lives of the Poets published during 1783, although it was the most thoughtful and well argued of these. Potter's mixed views of Johnson's work were later elaborated in his The Art of Criticism, 1789" (ODNB). Bound with half title.
Edge-wear to contemporary calf covers. An extremely good copy.