London: Henry Baldwin / Charles Dilly, 1791. First Edition. Quarto, two volumes. With stamps from the Kansas City, MO Public Library on the first page of text of each volume, but otherwise without the usual condition issues associated with ex-libris copies.
Second state, volume one with corrected spelling (p. 135: "give" for "gve" and those stated by Pottle not mentioned in the "corrections") and cancels (pp. 271-274); volume two with misnumbered pages (pp. 229, 408, 497, 504, 555, 585, 586) and cancels (pp. 29, 301), as well as hyphens (p. 288) and typographical errors (pp. 78, 92, 275, 352, 562). All plates present, including the frontispiece. A few leaf stubs are present, but not placed at the correct cancels.
Contemporary re-backed full calf, seven spine compartments, one in green and one in red, with gilt titles and designs, original endpapers, all page edges cut.
A monument to biography. Boswell was already a prolific author by the time of publication, but "The Life" propelled him to even higher levels of recognition. Boswell and Johnson were acquainted for a while, having met, coincidentally, in a book store. But in 1784 Johnson died, seven years before his life went into print.
Both volumes Very Good plus, with moderate foxing throughout, light shelfwear, and a few tiny closed tears and creases.
Pottle 79, 1967.