London: George G. Harrap & Company, . First edition. In the publisher's special deluxe binding. Publisher's full olive Persian morocco, gilt stamped with multi colored morocco onlays, reproducing the color frontispiece "An Epitaph for my Wife." Quarto (9 7/8 x 7 1/4 in; 256 x 186 mm). Collating 231, . Gilt lettered spine. Top edge gilt. Pictorial endpapers. Twelve full page color plates, twenty-two black and white line drawings. Very light foxing to preliminary leaves, otherwise a very Fine copy in the original mottled brown cardboard box with original gray label printed in black.
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 #3720)