The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. With Critical Observations on Their Works. A New Edition, Corrected. In Four Volumes (4 volumes)
Place Published: London
Publisher: Nichols and Son; A. Strahan
Date Published: 1800-1801
Edition: A New Edition, Corrected
Book Id: 47458
398; 287; 284; 322pp. Duodecimo [17.5 cm] Original, full speckled leather bindings with black and green leather spine labels and gilt tooled spines. Frontis engraving of "Samuel Johnson" based on a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds (Volume I). Bookplates of "Revd. Chas. W. Doyne" in volumes I, III, and IV. General rubbing and wear to surfaces and extremities. There are small losses from the spine ends, and several of the boards are cosmetically cracked along the joints. There is a loss from the leather of the front board of volume 1, measuring approximately 3" tall by 1/2" wide at its widest point. A large portion of the bottom fore edge corner of the front cover of volume 3 has been professionally restored. Lower corner of page 153 in volume I is torn. The books are sturdy.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was an exceptional man of eighteenth-century life and letters. A writer and lexicographer, his best known work was the Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Johnson's Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets was the last of his major works and comprises biographical sketches on 52 poets of the eighteenth century. It was originally published in 1781 under the title: Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets.