London: C. Bathurst . . . [and 35 Others], 1781. First separate edition. First separate edition. Courtney calls Lives of the Poets Johnson’s “second great work,” simple in style and expression but which “appealed to every man of letters in the three kingdoms.”
This copy with somewhat interesting provenance, contemporary ownership signature on all volumes of Richard Milles (probably the Tory MP, died 1820), whose daughter Reynolds painted. Also present is a later bookplate of Nina McAlpin, ex-relative by marriage to David Hunter McAlpin, III, making it possible that this particular set was owned by David Hunter McAlpin, Sr., the famed collector of British history and theology.
Four volumes in contemporary tree calf with engraved portrait frontispiece by Sir Joshua Reynolds in volume I.
ESTC T146734; Courtney & Smith, pgs. 141-42; Chapman & Hazen, pg. 159; ESTC and Chapman call for a publisher's advertisement on the last leaf of volume IV, here it is a blank, and as this copy was bound does not contain the labels. Joints are starting or weak, leather is dry, and bumping and chipping to corners and spine, else very good. Item #2