Hard Cover. London, New York, and Toronto: Oxford University Press / Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1953. Near Fine.
Reprint edition. Finely bound by Bayntun in full red polished calf with five raised bands to spine, boards double-ruled in gilt, compartments and bands decorated in gilt, green morocco spine label lettered in gilt, text block edges gilt with gilt board edges and turn-ins, purple marbled endpapers. A near fine copy with a few scratches to boards and some wear to front hinge including a half-inch closed tear to the leather at the top of the hinge, else tight and clean. One of the most famous biographies in the history of this literary form, Boswell's Life of Johnson describes the life of Samuel Johnson, a poet, essayist, literary critic, and lexicographer. Johnson's 1755 publication of A Dictionary of the English Language was regarded as the preeminent English dictionary until the Oxford English Dictionary was published in 1928. He published several other works throughout his life, including an edition of Shakespeare's plays with critical annotations that would inspire the various supposed authoritative Shakespeare texts that followed by other editors. Boswell's biography, first published in 1791, is known for its vivid detail. Though the biographer met his subject late in Johnson's life, his extensive research allowed him to portray a comprehensive picture of Johnson's life. Indeed, modern scholars have used Boswell's description of Johnson's mannerisms and sometimes disconcerting physical gestures to put together a posthumous diagnosis of what is now known as Tourette's Syndrome. Notably, this reprint edition by the Oxford University Press is based on the third edition, published in 1799, which was the last to be published with Boswell's own revisions.