4to, first edition, one of 1,750 copies, 2 volumes, engraved frontispiece portrait of Johnson by James Heath after Reynolds in volume 1, two engraved plates by H. Shepherd in volume 2 (of Round Robin addressed to Johnson and of his hand-writing), earlier state with reading "gve" in line 10 of p.135 of volume 1, seven cancel leaves as usual, with initial blank in volume 2, original blue-grey boards, preserved in modern black cloth folding box, rebacked with white parchment, some spotting to text and boards, a few minor blemishes and marginal tears, extremities of binding slightly worn, some discoloration to boards
First edition in boards of the most celebrated biography, in any language, of all time: "one of Western literature's most germinal achievements: unprecedented in its time in its depth of research and its extensive use of private correspondence and recorded conversation..." (Gordon Turnbull, Oxford DNB)
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