London: Printed by W. Strahan for J. and P. Knapton, 1755. First Edition. Two large folio volumes (410 x 255 mm), collates complete. Bound in early full calf, expertly rebacked to style, some wear to board edges and corners. Spines and boards gilt; morocco spine labels; plain grey end papers. Small bookplate on front paste-down of English actor F. Wyndham Goldie (1897-1957), Sothebys tag from their 1948 sale. First three leaves of volume one on stubs, some closed tears and small chips to the margins, no text affected. Minor scattered foxing and periodic contemporary marginalia. Outer joint of volume one showing some wear, but holding well. Overall a pleasing copy of this important book.
"The most amazing and endearing one-man feat in the field of lexicography" (Printing and the Mind of Man). Johnson's dictionary is one of the most famous reference works in history. "The dictionary took just over eight years to compile, required six helpers, and listed 40,000 words. Each word was defined in detail, the definitions illustrated with quotations covering every branch of learning. It was a huge scholarly achievement, more extensive and complex than any of its predecessors...the dictionary was enormously popular and highly respected for its epic sense of scholarship" (British Library).
PMM 201. Grolier 100 in English, 50. Rothschild 1237. (Item #4824)