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. An Account of the Life of Mr Richard Savage, Son of the Earl Rivers.
    JOHNSON, Samuel. An Account of the Life of Mr Richard Savage, Son of the Earl Rivers.

    London : 1744

    First edition of Johnson's celebrated biography of his friend Richard Savage, the flamboyant poet, playwright, and blackmailer, here bound with the first edition of Oliver Goldsmith's life of Beau Nash, another of the most celebrated biographies of the 18th century.

    Johnson's Life of Savage has the last page in the state with a single-line erratum.... Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 141773

  2. A Dictionary of the English Language:
    JOHNSON, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    London : 1755

    First edition; an excellent association copy from the library of an admirer, John Myddelton, "the only man, who, in Wales, has talked to me of literature", whose house Johnson visited on his Welsh tour. Johnson dined with Myddelton at his home on Friday, 5 August 1774, in company with Mrs Thrale, who separately noted Johnson's delight at Myddelton's... Learn More
    £27,500.00

    Stock Code: 149799

  3. A Dictionary of the English Language:
    JOHNSON, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    London : 1755

    First edition, in entirely unrestored contemporary condition. Finding a Johnson's Dictionary that has not even been rebacked has become something of an impossible quest in the last two decades; a superior copy, this set also has sheets 19D and 24O both in the first state, which Todd notes is highly uncommon.

    The creation of the dictionary was... Learn More
    £57,500.00

    Stock Code: 149262

  4. A Dictionary of the English Language:
    JOHNSON, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    London : 1755

    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... Learn More
    £18,500.00

    Stock Code: 87924

  5. A Dictionary of the English Language:
    JOHNSON, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language:

    London : 1755

    First edition. 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. Boswell called... Learn More
    £22,500.00

    Stock Code: 90616

  6. A Dictionary of the English Language.
    JOHNSON, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language.

    London : 1765

    Third edition of the most famous of all dictionaries, following the first edition of 1755, in the same imposing double-folio format as its predecessor.

    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... Learn More
    £5,000.00

    Stock Code: 144646

  7. The Works of the English Poets.
    JOHNSON, Samuel. The Works of the English Poets.

    London : 1790

    Second edition, with 14 authors, including Johnson himself, added to the original selection of 1779-81. The ultimate literary success of Johnson's career, the prefaces written to append the vast collection of English poetry were quickly recognized as setting a new standard for English literary biography. "In particular, the surveys of Cowley, Milton,... Learn More
    £2,500.00

    Stock Code: 140493

  8. The Works.
    JOHNSON, Samuel. The Works.

    London : 1820

    A beautifully bound set of an attractive edition, printed in a large legible type. Arthur Murphy's Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson was first published in 1792.

    With an appealing Scottish provenance: ownership inscription at head of title pages, "Mrs Forbes, Echt House", Aberdeenshire. This was the home of James Forbes (1775-1850),... Learn More
    £1,800.00

    Stock Code: 24300

  9. The Works.
    JOHNSON, Samuel. The Works.

    Oxford : 1825

    A handsomely bound set of Samuel Johnson's works, part of Pickering's Oxford English Classics series. The edition was superintended by Francis Pearson Walesby (1798-1858), professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Oxford. The work was initially intended as a nine volume series; a supplementary two volumes of Johnson's debates brought the total to... Learn More
    £1,250.00

    Stock Code: 122841

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