The Life of Samuel Johnson. James Boswell, Samuel Johnson.
The Life of Samuel Johnson

The Life of Samuel Johnson

Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1946. First Edition Thus (Specially Rebound). Three-Quarter Leather , Cloth & Gilt. James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson is one of the supreme classics of the English language, one of the first & still greatest biographies, as Gibbon's Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire is to history. First published in 1791, this rich & evocative account of the great British Man of Letters by his closest friend who followed him & recorded nearly his every utterance has been treasured by readers for generations through this day & certainly beyond. Offered here is an especially acclaimed & popular abridged first edition thus, with beautiful full-page color illustrations & vignettes by Gordon Ross (1873-1946), the great Scottish-American artist who died the year this edition was published (his illustrations are copyrighted the previous year, 1945). This copy is the first trade edition, specially rebound in a sumptuous traditional-style three-quarter leather binding with cloth, gilt & raised bands at spine, therefore without original dust jacket. As for the abridgment, editor C.P. Chadsey notes in his Preface: "For the purpose of this illustrated edition of Boswell's perennial classic, it has been necessary greatly to shorten the text. It was with definite trepidation and in a humble spirit that I accepted the assignment. To devotees of Boswell, any tampering with his text must seem sacrilegious; but viewed more dispassionately, a sympathetic abridgment can produce a volume more suited in length to these less leisured times, and one which yet retains the full flavor of that truly great biography." (pg. 1) Even with this indeed "sympathetic" & well-executed abridgment, this edition clocks in at 631 pages! A very handsome, collectible version of this canonical work. In fine condition with mild rubbing & a few small stains (likely resulting from aging of this unrestored, approximately contemporary binding) to esp. front, back covers & spine; mild-to-moderate wear & some small bumps with very slight loss of surface to edges & corners of same; moderate rubbing & light spotting to edges of text block incl. upper gilt edge; mild browning to side & lower edges of same. Interior very fine with only very light browning at blank margins of page leaves; tiny bumps at corners of some of same. Fine. [Item #4226]

Price: $50.00