Publisher: London: Printed for W. Sandby, 1760.
Edition: First edition, Todd's edition A.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T78375; NCBEL II, 556; Todd, “Patterns in the Press Figures: A Story in Lyttelton’s Dialogues of the Dead,” Studies in Bibliography, No. 8, 1956.
Condition: Hinges starting, but sound; edges slightly rubbed; fine copy.
Book ID: 23011
Description8vo, later 18th century English brown half calf, marbled paper boards, red morocco spine label, gilt rules and lettering.
CommentsThe popular Dialogues of the Dead by Lord George Lyttelton (also spelled Lyttleton) (1709-1773). This first edition contains 28 dialogues, the first 25 are by Lyttelton and the final three by his friend Elizabeth Montagu. Lyttelton's interlocutors include Addison and Swift, Plato and Fenelon, Cortez and William Penn, Boileau and Pope, Locke and Bayle, and Lucian and Rabelais. In number 28, Elizabeth Montague has Plutarch, Charon and a contemporary London bookseller discussing reading tastes of the day. Lyttelton was a respected and well-connected politician and man of letters. His Dialogues, which went through a number of editions, were the quintessential Augustan imaginary conversations; they were widely imitated, and almost no work with the title Dialogue(s) of the Dead was published in England in the decades following Lyttelton's without acknowledging him as a model and inspiration. See the ODNB.