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CAMPBELL, John.

Lives of the British Admirals:

Containing an Accurate Naval History, from the Earliest Periods. By... Continued to the Year 1779 by Dr. Berkenhout. A New Edition, revised and corrected, and brought down to the Present Time, by Henry Redhead Yorke.

Published: London, C. J. Barrington, 1812–17

Stock code: 40293

Price: £1,500

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

Best Edition, down to the Expedition against Algiers in 1816. Campbell’s work, originally published between 1742 and 1744, was subsequently revised, expanded, and condensed in various editions issued up to a hundred years after his death in 1775. “A man of untiring industry and considerable accomplishment, Campbell is described as gentle in manner and of kindly disposition. There are several interesting references to him in Boswell’s Life of Johnson, to both of whom he was known personally, Johnson being in the habit of going to the literary gatherings on Sunday evenings at Campbell’s house in Queen’s Square, Bloomsbury, until ‘I began,’ he said, ‘to consider that the shoals of Scotchmen who flocked about him might probably say, when anything of mine was well done, “Ay, ay, he has learnt this of Cawmell.”‘ ‘Campbell is a good man, a pious man,’ Johnson said of him on the same occasion: ‘I am afraid he has not been in the inside of a church for many years; but he never passes a church without pulling off his hat. This shows that he has good principles.’ Campbell told Boswell that he once drank thirteen bottles of port at a sitting. According to Boswell, Johnson spoke of Campbell to Joseph Warton as ‘the richest author that ever grazed the common of literature'” (DNB).

8 volumes, octavo (248 150 mm). Contemporary half calf on marbled boards, smooth spines, title gilt direct to the spine, black stained banding between rope twist gilt rules, gilt devices to the compartments, a little rubbed, some joints just starting, but remains sound and presents well. Engraved portrait frontispiece to each. Contemporary ownership inscriptions of Christopher Heath of Chippenham to all front free endpapers and title pages. Frontiss. somewhat foxed and browned with associated offsetting, light toning to the text with sporadic foxing, but overall very good in an attractive Regency binding.

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