London: printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall-mall, M.DCC.LXXIV . First Edition. Full Calf. Two quarto volumes complete, in English, Latin and French. ,vii,,568; ,606,[2, errata]pp, with half-titles, engraved frontispiece portrait (in vol. I) by J. Vitalba after William Hoare. Contemporary calf, boards framed with French fillets, spines, in five compartments, rebacked, original red morocco lettering and numbering pieces gilt laid down, later marbled end papers, all edges gilt. An excellent, wide-margined set, bindings tight and secure, some gatherings moderately foxed but generally clean and bright. Gulick 2B. Rothschild 596. Lowndes 434. Gibson's Library, p. 94. Near Fine. Item #BB0517
First Edition, Second State (with misprint "quia uroit," corrected to "qui auroit," vol. I, p. 55, line 16). Written almost daily beginning in 1737, Lord Chesterfield's famous letters, to his illegitimate son, conceived in Flanders when Chesterfield was ambassador at The Hague, "are full of sensible instruction, admirably expressed, more particularly in matters of good breeding . . ." (Oxford Companion to English Literature). Chesterfield's widow prepared the 395 letters for publication within a year of his death, and the work won immediate popularity. Like the 'Meditations' of Marcus Aurelius, these are a timeless collection of moral lessons drawn from a life well-lived, an elegantly written vade mecum, with instruction on behaving ethically and on the art of becoming a gentleman and man of the world. Arguably the finest collection of letters in English (and certainly among the most edifying), an epistolary classic (reprinted 27 times in the eighteenth century alone and still in print today). N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.