James Boswell | First Editions
1740 - 1795
James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish biographer and diarist, born in Edinburgh. Boswell is best remembered for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson; indeed, modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom has described Boswell's work as "the greatest biography written in the English language". Such is his reputation, that Boswell's surname (in the form Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) has come to signal a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in wriitng. An example can be found in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Scandal in Bohemia, as Sherlock Holmes (upon the absence of Dr. Watson) cries "I am lost without my Boswell."
In the 1920s, many of Boswell's private papers - including his own intimate journals - were discovered at Malahide Castle, north of Dublin. They were sold to the American collector Ralph H. Isham and are now in the custody of Yale University. Yale have since published general and scholarly editions of his journals and correspondence. Boswell's journals include detailed notes on the Grand Tour of Europe, that was a staple of the upper-class European young man's development, as well as his tour of Scotland with Samuel Johnson.
See below our stock of James Boswell fine bindings, and sets.
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New York, NY: Gabriel Wells, 1922. FINELY BOUND. In ten volumes. Medium Octavo. With a frontispiece engraving of Johnson and other engraved plates. No. 115 of 750 sets originally for sale. With a bibliographical introduction by Clement Shorter and an introduction to each vol. by the following: Aleyn Lyell Reade;.....
Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott and Co., 1865. [Biography] FINELY BOUND, a New Edition, with notes etc. In four volumes. Octavo (19 x 14 x 12cm), pp.xxxvi; 25-468 ; pp. 479 ; pp. 452 ; pp. 452 . With an engraved frontispiece to volumes I and II. Contemporary tan half calf.....
London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd. 1900. [Biography] FINELY BOUND. Three volumes. Octavo (23 x 15 x 11cm), pp.; xvi; 533; ; pp.; 470; ; pp.; 522; . Title pages printed in two colours. Elegantly bound by Denny of London in half red morocco over gilt-ruled buckram sides, gilt panelled spines.....