The Idler(12 views)
Description: FIRST COLLECTED EDITION; a classic of English literature offering Johnson's advice, observations, wit, and wisdom, all in Johnson's inimitable style. "The Idler was the last of Johnson's periodical writings. It appeared weekly in the Universal Chronicle, published by the famous Newbery. Beginning in April, 1758, Johnson wrote the one hundred and three essays in the next two years" with the collected edition appearing in 1761. (Osgood, ed. Selections from the Works of Samuel Johnson). As Boswell explains in his Life of Johnson: "The Idler is evidently the work of the same mind which produced the Rambler, but has less body and more spirit. It has more variety of real life, and greater facility of language. He described the miseries of idleness, with the lively sensations of one who has felt them; and in his private memorandums while engaged in it, we find 'This year I hope to learn diligence'." Provenance: With handsome bookplates in each volume associated with the British noble family the Howards of Effingham depicting two lions and the motto "Virtus Mille Scuta". London: J. Newbery, 1761. Small octavo, contemporary full calf; housed in custom case. Two volumes. Rubbing to spines and boards, particularly near the edges. (Rubbing to spines of box as well.) Browning to title pages from binding, otherwise text fine with wide margins. A rare set in unrestored contemporary bindings.
Artist or Maker: JOHNSON, SAMUEL