Very Good. Item #6673
London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, in the Strand, 1811. Seventh Edition "Revised and Augmented." 12mo (see title-page and pagination note below). Three illustrations, all within the first of the two bound volumes: a frontispiece engraved by Robert Cooper after the famous Reynolds portrait of Johnson; a tipped-in fold-out reproduction of a "Round Robin" Johnsonian parlor game; and a tipped-in fold-out sheet showing facsimiles of Johnson's handwriting. [Pottle 87]
The title-pages of all five volumes are present and placed at the start of each of the five textual (as opposed to the two bound) volumes, with one exception. It is the title-page for textual Vol II. It was deliberately placed—undoubtedly because of its "two"-ness—to serve as the first page of the second bound volume. Bound Volume I contains textual volumes I and II and the beginning of III, as follows: Vol I xxxviii + 355pp, Vol II 412pp, Vol III through p144. Bound Volume II contains the second part of the textual Vol III, and all of textual volumes IV and V, as follows: Vol III pp145-424, Vol IV 391pp, Vol V 384pp, including Index to all five textual volumes.
Joints and hinges solid. In the first bound volume, the tipped-in frontispiece and three leaves of the first gathering (including the title page) are detached as a unit, but laid in without consequent damage. Mild foxing throughout both bound volumes (somewhat exaggerated by our photo lighting). The tipped-in fold-out of Johnson's handwriting has a long curved tear, now closed and without losses (see photo). Bound Vol I has bookplate of Charles J.P. Browne: "Attente Cogitare." (Johnson adhered to that wisdom; Boswell did not; we cannot speak for Mr. Browne.)
Such a pair of thickset volumes is symbolically pertinent to our biographer and biographee. Sayeth Dr. Johnson defending his much noted waistline: "I mind my belly very studiously, and very carefully; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else." Boswell, as always, in life, at table, and here in 12mo, was not far behind.