Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    First Edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson; From the Earl of Lonsdale's Library

    James Boswell. The Life of Samuel Johnson. London: Printed by Henry Baldwin, for Charles Dilly, 1791.

    First edition. Two quarto volumes. xii, [16], 516; 588 pages. Engraved frontispiece portrait and two plates.

    Bound in contemporary diced calf (expertly rebacked); gilt rolled borders enclosing the crest of Hugh Cecil, Earl of Lonsdale stamped in gilt on front and rear boards. Gilt paneled spines, red and green leather spine labels. Original yellow stained edges. First issue with the reading "gve" on page 135 of volume one. Minor spotting to frontispiece portrait, but a fine, clean copy printed on pale "green tint" paper, with the bookplate and crest of Earl of Lonsdale in each volume. Impressive volumes in very good or better condition. In a modern single custom slipcase.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 708

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 March 4 Rare Books Signature Auction Books Signature Auction - New York .

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 July 16 - 18 The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 July 16 - 18 The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $4,641,550