Birmingham: Printed by John Baskerville, for J. and R. Tonson, 1761. First Thus. First Baskerville edition of the Works of Joseph Addison (originally published in 1721). Four large quarto volumes in contemporary French calf, rebacked, preserving the original spines. Boards triple-ruled in gilt, spines decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments, with two dark blue morocco gilt lettering labels, decorative gilt board edges and turn- ins, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. This copy bound without the very scarce “Directions to the Binder” leaf Zzz2 (after p. 538) in volume one and the seven leaves of cuts in volume 2., else complete with all errata noted by Gaskell: Vol. 1. xxv, , [1 blank], 537, [1 blank], [4 Index], [2 blank]; Frontispiece portrait and three engraved plates + six numismatic plates (included in pagination); Vol. 2. , 538, ; Vol. 3. 579, [1 blank], [11 index], [1 blank], two leaves (Ss1 and Ss2 / pp. 321-324) with top margins neatly repaired (not affecting text); Vol. 4. 555, [1 blank], [10 index]. With the preface and dedicatory poem by Thomas Tickell. Engraved frontispiece portrait (by T. Miller after G. Kneller) and three engraved plates (by C. Grignion after F. Hayman) in Volume I, and six woodcut numismatic plates in Volume I (included in pagination). An excellent set.
Essayist, dramatist, and poet Joseph Addison was one of the late 17th to 18th century's most prolific cultural commentators. A Whig supporter, he used his work to encourage popular support of the party and assist them in maintaining power -- a project he undertook alongside friend and fellow writer Richard Steele of The Tatler. Here, some of his most powerful works are drawn together in a lovely contemporary binding.
Gaskell, Baskerville, 17. Rothschild 15. (Item #3553)