London: Longman and Rees, 1800. Cook. First Miniature Edition. Tooled leather with gilding. 12mo, tooled and gilt-stamped leather with four hubs, engraved frontispiece of Dr. Johnson by Cook, frontis. & t.p. + [iii-iv] advert. + 284 pages. Very Good. Item #92
Very Rare! [Edited by Rev. Joseph Hamilton.]
Handy edition of the redoubtable Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary with its marvellous definitions. Published in 1800 during the raging Napoleonic wars with France (see also the somewhat later inscription to a French ship's captain below).
Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), or more commonly "Dr. Johnson" or "the Great Cham," was a brilliant English writer, devout Anglican and Tory, who made his reputation as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and most lastingly as a lexicographer. His Dictionary of the English Language is noteworthy for its extent, comprehensiveness, and use of pithy definitions. James Boswell, of course, memorialized the life and sayings of the great doctor.
So uncommon, it has NOT been identified by Courtney & Smith, Johnson Bibliography with Supplement, e.g., pp.57-59. The eighth edition of A Dictionary of the English Language appeared in 1799; the ninth edition in 1805.
The upper cap of the spine is missing and the volume is rubbed with wear evident along the hinges and corners, but the sewing is strong and the pages are clean with minimal toning. Minor brown offset from the fine engraved frontispiece of Dr. Johnson onto the title page.
Bookstamp of bookseller "E. Desbois, Bordeaux"; marbled endpapers.
Interesting ink presentation on ffe: "To / J [or "T"] Beck Esqr. / commanding the French / packett Esteva on / her passage from Bordeaux / to Vera Cruz in Nov. 1831 ~ by his most obedt / humble servant / L. L. Becker"