1775 first edition, first state, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland by Samuel Johnson


First edition, first state of Samuel Johnson's 1775 travel narrative, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. This has the errata with twelve lines of errata (with eleven errors), with each error found in the text (most generally corrected by a graphite mark(s)). This copy also has the two pages that were cancelled, easy to identify by their stub and mounting (leaves signed D8 and U4*). On page 199 we find the word "afford".

About the Work -

From The Monthly Review, January 1775:

Scotland seems to be daily so much increasing in consideration with her sister-kingdom, that tours to the Highlands, and voyages to the isles, will possibly become the fashionable routes of our virtuosi, and those who travel for mere amusement. Mr. Pennant has led the way; Dr. Johnson has followed...

Mr. Pennant travels, chiefly, in the character of the naturalist and antiquary; Dr. Johnson in that of the moralist and observer of men and manners. The former describes whatever is remarkable in the face of the country - the extraordinary productions of Nature - the ruins, the relics, and the monuments of past times; the latter gives us his observations on the common appearances and productions of the soil and climate, with the customs and characteristics of the inhabitants, just as particulars and circumstances chanced to present themselves to his notice. The ingenious Cambrian delights in painting sublime scenes, and pleasing pictures; while the learned English Rambler seems rather to confine his views to the naked truth, to moralize on the occurrences of his journey, and to illustrate the characters and situation of the people whom he visited, by the sagacity of remark, and the profundity of reflection.

Provenance -

Ex-libris plate of Stanley Field, the nephew of the Chicago dry goods merchant Marshall Field.

Bibliographic Details -

English Short Title Catalogue number 006354757; not rare, many of the world's best libraries hold a copy.

Worldcat OCLC number 544685.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 21.5 x 13.5 x 3 cm. Crushed leather binding, with double blind fillet frame to boards. Spine with five raised bands, "Johnson's Journey" in gilt in one compartment. Top-edge of text block darkened.

Pages - title, verso of title blank, 1-384, errata leaf (blank on verso)

Collation - A (title leaf), B-Z8, Aa-Bb8, errata leaf

Condition -

See pictures. Binding very nice, with a few ring marks but that's about it. Bottom corners of boards seem just barely bumped. Ex-libris plate on pastdown. Turn-ins have ghosted title page just slightly.

Book is toned throughout, with occasional rust spots typical of paper of this age; in consideration of other copies offered, paper in this copy looks nice.

Nitpicking - Chip top corner of 17. Small moisture mark bottom margin of 51. 1 cm ink mark at bottom margin of 109. Occasional dog-eared page. Thumb marks fore-edge margin of 148. All of the errata issues have a graphite mark(s) of some sort at the page of correction. 231 has a small hole in fore-edge margin that appears to be a gap in the paper making (you can see the fibers of hair that caused it in the paper). Thumb at bottom margin of 253 and 256. From 320 to end a moisture mark just at the bottom corner of text block, no text affected, barely intrudes into paper. 365, annotation on hospitality. Graphite mark on 379. Errata edge chipped.

Despite notes, a nice book.

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