Beautifully marbled and handsomely bound edition of Samuel Johnson's revered Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, with a preface, notes and postscript by Peter Cunningham.
About the Literature
Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–81) is a work by Samuel Johnson, comprising short biographies and critical appraisals of 52 poets, most of whom lived during the eighteenth century. It is arranged, approximately, by date of death. Six of the Lives have been singled out as the most important: John Milton, John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, Jonathan Swift, and Thomas Gray. Greg Clingham describes the Lives in these terms: "The topics in criticism covered in the Lives read like a list of most of the important issues in literary history during the years 1600–1781" along with having "equally important historical, biographical, and philosophical topics."
1/2 leather fine binding with marbled paper boards. Spines have five raised ribs, and four compartments with gilt decoration, one compartment with "Johnson's Lives of the Poets" in gilt and one with "Vol (1,2,3)" in gilt on black Morocco. All edges marbled. Marbled matching endpapers. Vol. 1 pages - (1), (frontis not bound in), iii-xxxii, 395, (1), Vol. 2 pages - (1), (frontis not bound in), iii-viii, 444 (1), Vol. 3 pages - (1), (frontis not bound in), iii-xii, 456 (1).
See pictures. These volumes lack the frontis sometimes found in this set. Some shelf wear with the occasional marks on boards or spine and rubbing at corners and edges. A little chipping at the top of the spine of Vol 2 and 3. Volume one - Erased pencil bookseller notes on endpapers, marbling paper chip along rear boards fore-edge, and a bump at top edge or rear board, text block has a light crease at top right corner (slight bump). Volume 2 - Also a bump at top edge of rear board. Volume three, no additional condition notes. Despite any condition notes, a very handsome set, beautifully marbled.
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