The Harleian Miscellany: or a collection of scarce, curious, and entertaining pamphlets and tracts…. Samuel JOHNSON.
The Harleian Miscellany: or a collection of scarce, curious, and entertaining pamphlets and tracts…

The Harleian Miscellany…
The Harleian Miscellany: or a collection of scarce, curious, and entertaining pamphlets and tracts…

London: T. Osborne, 1744-1746.

Eight volumes, quarto, contemporary speckled calf with red and black spine labels, gilt decorated.

Ambitious early project by Samuel Johnson

A handsome set in eighteenth-century calf bindings of this classic literary collection, edited by Samuel Johnson as a young man, a decade before he would establish his reputation with the Dictionary of 1755. Johnson was originally employed by the publisher to help catalogue the second Earl of Oxford, Edward Harley's impressive library, which later became a foundation collection of the British Museum library. Publisher and editor both saw the need to publish Harley's extensive collection in a more lasting and accessible form, and later generations have been thankful for their recognition of the ephemeral nature of much of the collection: "it has been for a long time a very just complaint, among the learned, that a mutlitude of valuable productions, published in small pamphlets, or in single sheets, are in a short time, too often by accidents, or negligence, destroyed, and entirely lost; and that those authors, whose reverence for the public has hindered them from swelling their works with repetition, or encumbering them with superfluities, and who, therefore, deserve the praise and gratitude of posterity, are forgotten, for the very reason for which them might expect to be remembered... The obvious method of preventing these losses... is to unite these scattered pieces into volumes...". The resulting texts have preserved a host of fascinating seventeenth century social and literary commentary, both pious and impious, and the collection is of great value to English historical and political history of this period.

A handsome set in eighteenth-century calf bindings of this classic literary collection, edited by Samuel Johnson as a young man, a decade before he would establish his reputation with the Dictionary of 1755. Johnson was originally employed by the publisher to help catalogue the second Earl of Oxford, Edward Harley's impressive library, which later became a foundation collection of the British Museum library. Publisher and editor both saw the need to publish Harley's extensive collection in a more lasting and accessible form, and later generations have been thankful for their recognition of the ephemeral nature of much of the collection: "it has been for a long time a very just complaint, among the learned, that a mutlitude of valuable productions, published in small pamphlets, or in single sheets, are in a short time, too often by accidents, or negligence, destroyed, and entirely lost; and that those authors, whose reverence for the public has hindered them from swelling their works with repetition, or encumbering them with superfluities, and who, therefore, deserve the praise and gratitude of posterity, are forgotten, for the very reason for which them might expect to be remembered... The obvious method of preventing these losses... is to unite these scattered pieces into volumes...". The resulting texts have preserved a host of fascinating seventeenth century social and literary commentary, both pious and impious, and the collection is of great value to English historical and political history of this period.

Price (AUD): $5,850.00  other currencies Ref: #3706035

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