Place and Imprint: Oxford: Clarendon Press, (2006).
Edition: First edition edited by Roger Lonsdale.
Condition: Fine copy, enclosed in the publisher's slipcase.
Book ID: 28916
Physical DescriptionFour vols, 8vo, original black cloth, gilt lettering. Frontis portrait.
CommentsThe definitive edition of Johnson's famous Lives of the English Poets, issued 225 years after its original publication. This edition, edited by 18th century English literature scholar Roger Lonsdale, has been celebrated as a great achievement in textual scholarship in giving Johnson's 52 biographies literary and historical context unlike anything that been previously accomplished. “The crowning achievement of Lonsdale’s career is his magisterial edition of Johnson’s Live of the Poets, a work more than two decades in the making. . . . This richly illuminating guide to Samuel Johnson’s culminating critical accomplishment also delivers an astonishingly comprehensive masterclass in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century poetry, from the shifting status of writing for publication to the increasingly expanding market. Lonsdale’s sympathetic understanding of Johnson [is] . . . a rare work whose greatness stands with Johnson’s own” - Michael F. Suarez, S.J., in his introduction to Christopher Edwards Antiquarian Books List 87, The Library of Roger Lonsdale. Ink ownership signature with a few notes in pencil on the rear endpapers and margins of another Johnson scholar, Chester Chapin, dated June 14, 2006. This edition is inexplicably out of print - in any format: hard cover, paperback, e-book or print on demand - and accordingly scarce. Strange and shocking that Clarendon Press, a branch of Oxford University Press, would allow an important text like this to be unavailable except at select libraries.