An Account of Corsica

An Account of Corsica


An Account of Corsica 1768

By James Boswell The Famed Biographer and Friend of Samuel Johnson

Printed In Glasgow by Robert and Andrew Foulis For Edward and Charles Dilly

The Volume is in Very Good Condition Rebacked, retaining the contemporary gilt-ruled calf boards, with the newer spine divided into five compartments by four raised bands, with a red morocco letter-piece in the second compartment from the top, and with the board edge blind-tooled. Externally the boards and spine show little scuffing, with some light wear to the head and tail of the spine, and with the board corners lightly bumped. Internally the leaves are generally clean and amply margined, with some mild marginal toning throughout, and with some small faint staining on occasion.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects with a folding map of Corsica and with “the very rare half-title” (Rothschild), the table of contents (b2) follows the preface (a3-b1); D2 recto is in Rothschild’s first state, with the words “John Home” incorrectly placed following the first quotation on p. 51; E2 and Z3 are cancellanses, with “Mariani” spelled correctly (line 24, p. 357). Pottle additional misprints are also present: “141” for “241” in table of contents; broken “E” in “Etruscans” on p. 70, line 17; “feelirg” on p. 137, line 11; “tha the” on p. 172, line 9; “Montgomerÿ” on p. 184, line 4; “speculati-ions” on p. 327, lines 9-10; pp. 93 and 296 are correctly printed (the last words of line 6, p.93, are “prince of” and of line 18, p.296, “of my own”). See below for pagination & dimensions.

Title - An Account of Corsica

Of James Boswell

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck, was a Scottish biographer and diarist, born in Edinburgh. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson, which is commonly said to be the greatest biography written in the English language. Boswell’s surname has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print. In “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes affectionately says of Dr. Watson, who narrates the tales, “I am lost without my Boswell.”

It was around three months after this first encounter with Johnson in 1763, that Boswell departed for Europe with the initial goal of continuing his law studies at Utrecht University. He spent a year there and although desperately unhappy the first few months, eventually quite enjoyed his time in Utrecht. He befriended and fell in love with Isabelle de Charrière, also known as Belle van Zuylen, a vivacious young Dutchwoman of unorthodox opinions, his social and intellectual superior. Boswell admired the young widow Geelvinck who refused to marry him. After this, Boswell spent most of the next two years travelling around the continent, his Grand Tour. During this time he met Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire with a recommendation letter of Constant d’Hermenches, and made a pilgrimage to Rome, where his portrait was painted by George Willison. Boswell also travelled to Corsica to meet one of his heroes, the independence leader Pasquale Paoli.

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [v]-xxi-[xxiv], [1]-382. The volume collates as follows: [#]2, a8, b2, A-2A8. The volume measures abouT 20 cm. By 12.5 cm. By 3.5 cm. Each leaf measures about 190 mm. By 115 mm.

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