Dublin: Printed by John Chambers, For R. Cross, W. Wilson, P. Byrne, A. Grueber, J. Moore, J. Jones, W. McKenzie, W. Jones, R. McAllister, R. White, J. Rice, and G. Draper; Volume II Printed by John Ershaw; Volume III Printed by Robert Rhames, 1792. First Dublin edition. The first English edition was published in 1791. Two folding plates in volume three, one of which is a facsimile "Round Robin" with signatures and the second being a facsimile of Johnson's handwriting. Binding extremities lightly rubbed, back joint of Vol. I cracked, but sound.. Light foxing, toning, chips, and creasing to some pages in all volumes in addition to occasional minor stains. Faded contemporary ink annotations on front flyleaf of Volume I. Faded contemporary ink signature on title pages of Volumes I, II and III. A very good copy in a handsome binding. Contemporary calf with red and green morocco spine labels lettered and ruled in gilt. Three volumes, octavo. iv-xxxiv, 536; , 605; , 573 pp. Item #16293
Boswell's Life of Johnson remains the most famous biography in any language, one of Western literature's most germinal achievements: unprecedented in its time in its depth of research and its extensive use of private correspondence and recorded conversation, it sought to dramatize its subject in his authorial greatness...to the task of life writing, Boswell brought his forensic and evidence-sifting habits from his Edinburgh legal training...But though [Boswell's work] has delighted many...it remains...as controversial as it is famous. It has been attacked [by]... some Johnsonian scholars...Nonetheless, later scholarship has properly supplemented but never supplanted Life's basic vision, and has drawn upon Boswell's work as a central source even in those challenges to aspects of its representation."