Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

JOHNSON, Samuel (contrib.); ASCHAM, Roger.

The English Works.

With notes and observations, and the author's life. By James Bennet.

London: Printed for T. Davies and J. Dodsley, [1767] Stock Code: 120660
Reserve Ask us a question

First collected and first Johnson edition, second issue: "this issue is distinguished by the new half-title and undated title, and by the absence of the single leaf of 'Additional Subscribers'; in all other respects it comprises the sheets from the first issue of 1761" (Fleeman). With the 4-page list of subscribers, to whom the book was originally issued in January 1762. The dedication "To Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury," and the "Life of Roger Ascham" were written by Samuel Johnson. "Tom Davis stated that Johnson was 'in reality' the editor, and that he (Johnson) gave the work to Bennet for his advantage" (Courtney). Bennet was a "distressed schoolmaster" of a boarding school at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. Roger Ascham (1514/15-1568) was appointed tutor to Princess Elizabeth in 1548, Latin Secretary to Queen Mary in 1553 and private tutor to Queen Elizabeth in 1558. This collected edition gathers together three works: Toxophilus (1545), The Scholemaster (1570) and the Report of the Affairs of Germany (1552); the "Letters to Queen Elizabeth and others" are described as "now first published from the Manuscripts". This would appear to be the first printing of Toxophilus outside of the editions of the 16th century. A very attractive period binding with an intriguing and enigmatic provenance: the lower spine label carries a small gilt supralibros (which appears to be, in heraldic terms: on a bend three roundels), this has been carefully obliterated by a gilt reticulated pattern. With the Fasque bookplate of the Gladstone family: Fasque was "the Scottish house in the Mearns, in Kincardineshire, bought by William Ewart Gladstone's father, where he spent many parliamentary recesses until his father's death in 1851" (ODNB).

Confused? Read our glossary


Quarto (283 x 217 mm). Contemporary mottled calf (sometime skilfully repaired at front joint, head of spine and head of lower joint), richly gilt spine with pomegranate device and scrolling floriate motifs, red morocco twin labels, single line gilt border on sides, gilt roll tool turn-ins, yellow edges, marbled endpapers.


Attractive rococo head-piece to dedication (with arms of Earl of Shaftesbury), engraved by F. Garden.


A little wear to corners, minor paper flaw at fore-edge of title page. A very good copy.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book