All the Works of Epictetus, Which Are Now Extant; Consisting of His Discourses, preserved by Arrian, in Four Books, the Enchiridion, and Fragments. Translated from the Original Greek, by Elizabeth Carter. With an Introduction, and Notes, by the Translator

London: Printed by S. Richardson, and Sold by A. Millar…John Rivington…and R. and J. Dodsley, First edition of the first English translation of the complete works of Epictetus. This esteemed work was the standard English version prior to Oldfather’s translation (1925-8). (See Long, Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life, Oxford: 2002.) With a scholarly introduction to the Stoic philosophers by the translator, an impressive list of subscribers, and an index and appendix of variant readings. No other library marks, modern ink signature in preliminaries, light foxing. A very good copy Half nineteenth-century brown morocco over speckled boards. Gilt-ruled spine with lettering for author and title, and from the library that once owned the book, the H.H. Baxter Library in Rutland, Vermont. Edges sprinkled red Quarto. 18], xli, [1], 505, [11] (Item ID: 16086)


Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806) was a noted member of the Blue Stocking Circle. Despite an early learning disability and “with a persistence that won the praise of V. Woolf in A Room of One’s Own,” (as Margaret Drabble reminds us in the Oxford Companion to English Literature) she learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew in childhood with her brothers, and later studied French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Arabic. She was a friend of Samuel Johnson, who thought her one of the best Greek scholars he had known, and invited her to contribute to The Rambler. She made a number of translations, of which this is considered her masterpiece. It was undertaken at the request of her friend, Catherine Talbot, who arranged for publication and solicited subscribers, amongst which were a large number of women, and members of the Johnson circle.

Oldfather 47. Lowndes 745 (“a most admirable translation”). NCBEL II, 1595.

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