The Table Talk of Dr. Johnson; Comprising Opinions and Anecdotes of Life and Literature, Men, Manners, and Morals
by [Johnson, Samuel]; Boswell, James
London: John Bumpus, 1825. Early nineteenth-century compilation of conversations among Samuel Johnson's circle, drawn from James Boswell's 1791 Life of Johnson, and arranged topically by subject. In addition to Johnson and Boswell, contributors include Joshua Reynolds, Oliver Goldsmith, and Hester Thrale. The topics range widely -- marriage, dueling, music, politics, religion, literature -- and Johnson's wit is on display throughout. Considering the effects of alcohol, he dismisses claret because "a man would be drowned by it before it made him drunk," while the ability to drink brandy places him on the opposite end of the spectrum: "That is a power rather to be wished for than attained." When Hannah More remarks on the weakness of John Milton's sonnets, Johnson replies: "Milton, madam, was a genius that could cut a Colossus from a rock; but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones." A near-fine copy, very handsomely bound by Morrell. Twelvemo, nineteenth-century full speckled polished calf rebacked with original spine laid down, boards ruled and decorated in gilt, spine compartments decorated in gilt, red morocco spine labels, gilt dentelles, top edge gilt, pale blue endpapers, uncut. Engraved frontispiece of Samuel Johnson in conversation. Ink ownership inscription to front free endpaper, bookbinder (Morrell) and bookseller (Brentano's) stamps to verso of front free endpaper, embossed exlibris stamp to front flyleaf. Lightest shelfwear to binding.
(Inventory #: 1001222)
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