Philadelphia: David McKay Company, . First American edition. Deluxe issue, limited to 775 copies (575 for England and 200 for the United States) signed by Arthur Rackham, this being copy no. 94 of the American issue. Publisher's white vellum, front cover ruled and lettered in gilt, spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt, others uncut. A few text leaves poorly opened, some scattered foxing, bookplate on front paste-down. Quarto (10 5/16 x 7 3/4 in; 263 x 197 mm). 231,  pp. Twelve full page color plates, twenty-two black and white line drawings. A very good copy, housed in a green cloth slipcase.
"In the England of jazz and Noel Coward the whimsical and fantastic had grown increasingly out of fashion. With The Vicar of Wakefield of 1929... Rackham played it safe by turning to historical costume... in which he had long been supremely accomplished and successful" (Hudson 126).
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.”
Latimore and Haskell 65. Riall 170. (Item #3709)