The Life of Samuel Johnson.
London: H. Baldwin, 1799. Octavo, 6 volumes. Three quarters red morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine. Top edge gilt. In very good condition. An attractively bound set.
"Everyone with an interest in Johnson is very much in debt to Boswell not only for the years of devotion he invested in the study of Johnson's life, but for the uncanny skill with which he conveyed the quality of Johnson's personality and his effect on the people about him. If there had been no Boswell, Johnson would have been one of the most famous names in English literature; but that he has become a household name… is due to the chance that brought Boswell into his company… Boswell is the sniffing bloodhound who will follow the scent of individuality into whatever territory it leads him. The fascination of their dialogue, that dialogue of mind, heart and voice round which Boswell organized his great Life, is that it is not merely between two very different men but between two epochs. In its pages, Romantic Europe speaks to Renaissance Europe, and is answered" (Wain, 229).