London: Printed for Robinson and Roberts, MDCCXLIX [but 1769]. First Edition. Full Calf. First Issue (with the erroneous date 1749 on the title page). 12mo: viii,227;[ii],190pp. Half title in Volume II only. Newly bound by Fitterer in period-style speckled calf, spine in six compartments divided by raised bands ruled in gilt, with green morocco letter piece gilt, top edge gilt, end papers renewed. A nearly pristine copy, the pages very lightly and evenly toned. Rothschild 1923. ESTC Citation No. T55310. Fine. Item #BB0596
Although Adventures of an Atom is generally accepted as by Smollett, there is no conclusive proof that he wrote it. "There is no reference to it in his letters or those of his correspondents, but it was attributed to him in the London Chronicle (8–11 April 1769). With echoes of the humour of Rabelais, it is a rumbustious, at times scatological, satire on British political life, transposed to Japan. [The 'atom' is the supposed narrator, a witness to the events and somehow able to communicate them to modern listeners. ] It may be that Smollett, sensing that his remaining days were few, revived his vituperative energies to target enemies, including Pitt, Cumberland, Mansfield, and Wilkes. If his, it was a pungent valediction. He took his leave of Hume in an affectionate letter of 31 August 1768 before going into ‘a perpetual exile’ (Letters, 136)." (ODNB) A Key to the pseudonyms is given by Thomas Seccombe in the bibliographical introduction to vol. XII of Smollett's Works.