Salisbury: B. Collins for F. Newbury, 1766. First edition. In a charming full crushed morocco binding by Bedford with gilt detailing in the spine compartments, all edges gilt, inner gilt dentelles and marbled end-papers. Bindings are both in excellent condition, Fine but for a slight scuff to the edge of the spine on volume 2. Internal contents are bright and clean without writing, chips or tears. In all a lovely set, housed in a cloth slipcase.
One of the most popular books of the 18th century. This novel, both a work of sentimental fiction and a satire on the genre itself, follows the trials and eventual triumph of the Primrose family, led by the Rev’d Dr. Charles Primrose, the vicar. Goldsmith was a noted Irish wit and a member of Samuel Johnson’s famed literary club, who Johnson praised as: “In genius, vivid, versatile, sublime. In style, clear, elevated, elegant." The legend of the book’s publication is that Goldsmith was about to be arrested by his landlady for debt, when Johnson was able to sell the manuscript of the novel to a publisher for sixty pounds, saving his friend in the nick of time. “I brought Goldsmith the money, and he discharged his rent, not without rating his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill.” (Item #1118)
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