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JOHNSON, Samuel.

Rare books by and about Samuel Johnson, including first editions and copies in fine bindings of the English Dictionary, and handsome sets of his collected works.

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  1. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    A Dictionary of the English Language:

    in which The Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the best Writers. To which are prefixed, A History of the Language, and An English Grammar.
    First edition of this most famous of English dictionaries. This work has at various times been called "the most important British cultural monument of the eighteenth century" (Hitchings); "the only dictionary [of the English language] compiled by a writer of the first rank" (Robert Burchfield); "the most amazing, enduring and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography" (PMM); and the first genuinely descriptive dictionary in any language. Learn More
    £14,500

    Date of Publication: 1755

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 72604

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  2. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    A Dictionary of the English Language:

    in which The Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the best Writers. To which are prefixed, A History of the Language, and An English Grammar.
    First edition of this most famous of English dictionaries, in an extremely handsome contemporary binding. The creation of the dictionary was Johnson's greatest literary labour. Helped by a succession of needy amanuenses who worked in the surprisingly spacious garret of his house in Gough Square, he experienced the death of his mother and underwent agonies of procrastination before finally completing the task in his 46th year. Learn More
    £25,000

    Date of Publication: 1755

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 93130

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  3. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    A Dictionary of the English Language:

    in which the words are deduced from their originals, and illustrated in their different significations by examples from the best writers. To which are prefixed, A History of the Language, and An English Grammar. In two volumes.
    Sixth edition, with the ownership inscription of Lord and Lady Raglan, dated 1853, to the initial blank of each volume, and with the later bookplate of Cefntilla Court, the Monmouthshire seat of the Raglans, to the front pastedowns. Lord FitzRoy Somerset, first Baron Raglan (1788-1855) is best remembered as commander of the British forces in the Crimea. Learn More
    £1,750

    Date of Publication: 1785

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111211

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  4. The Life of Samuel Johnson,

    The Life of Samuel Johnson,

    Comprehending an Account of His Studies and Numerous Works, in Chronological Order… The Whole Exhibiting a View of Literature and Literary Men in Great Britain for Near a Century During Which He Flourished. In Two Volumes.
    First edition of the most famous biography in any language. The immense task of compiling the thousands of notes Boswell had recorded on "the great man's talk, habits and opinions" was begun after Johnson's death in 1784. Made up of trifling incidents as well as the significant events in Johnson's life, the work remains a masterpiece of portraiture. Learn More
    £2,750

    Date of Publication: 1791

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 80063

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  5. The Idler, by the author of The Rambler.

    The Idler, by the author of The Rambler.

    A new edition.
    An attractive copy, handsomely bound, with double fore-edge paintings showing Temple fountain in London about 1760 and Lichfield, birthplace of Dr Johnson. The Idler is a series of 103 essays, all but 12 of them by Samuel Johnson, published in the Universal Chronicle between 1758 and 1760 and first collected in book form in 1761. The authors besides Johnson were Thomas Warton, Bennet Langton, and Joshua Reynolds. Learn More
    £1,250

    Date of Publication: 1816

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 114534

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  6. The Works.

    The Works.

    To Which is Prefixed an Essay on His Life and Genius, by Arthur Murphy. New Edition.
    A beautifully bound set of Samuel Johnson's works. Learn More
    £1,800

    Date of Publication: 1820

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 24300

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  7. The Works.

    The Works.

    In nine volumes.
    A handsomely bound set of Johnson's works comprising 9 volumes of his works and two volumes of f Johnson's retelling of the debates in Parliament. Learn More
    £1,650

    Date of Publication: 1825

    Published: London [and] Oxford

    Stock Code: 114694

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  8. Aphorisms on Authors and their Ways;
    signed

    Aphorisms on Authors and their Ways;

    With some general observations on the humours, habits, and methods of composition of poets – good, bad, and indifferent. Diligently collected from Johnson’s “Lives”.
    First and only edition, 100 copies printed. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author "To M.C, from AB, Christmas 1917" on the initial blank, and latterly in the collection of American-born Conservative politician and diarist Sir Henry "Chips" Channon (1897-1958), with his pencilled ownership inscription to the front free endpaper. Birrell resigned as chief secretary for Ireland in the aftermath of the Easter rising in 1916, and spent his retirement engaged in literary pursuits. Learn More
    £250

    Date of Publication: 1917

    Published: [London]

    Stock Code: 111281

    Signed: Yes

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