London: Printed for Hector M'Lean, 113, Strand, by Howlett and Brimmer, Frith Street, Soho Square, 1821. First Edition thus. Morocco. First and finest (according to Tooley) Illustrated Edition of this popular eighteenth-century roman à clef, complete in three octavo volumes, with 15 exquisitely hand-colored engravings by Burney, Read, and others. iii-viii,319,; ,321,; 326pp. Elaborately gilt-tooled full navy blue straight-grained morocco by Riviere (signed in gilt to front turn-ins); covers decorated in gilt and blinds with rules and rolls; spines very richly gilt in six compartments, two of which lettered and numbered in gilt. A very handsome, wide-margined set (perhaps one of the few large-paper copies), bindings finely preserved, virtually without wear; text barely toned, light offsetting from plates, very occasional scattered spots, else virtually pristine; early owner's small, tidy initials to title-pages ("J.D.H. 1857"). Bound without half-titles. Tooley 283. Halkett and Laing, p. 348 (for first edition of 1760). Fine. Item #BB1591
"The 'best scandalous chronical of the day,' the supposedly fictitious characters being taken from prominent men of the time… one of the criticised being General Wolfe." (Tooley) Originally published pseudonymously, in 1760, in two volumes. Johnston's chief work (spelled variously Johnston, Johnson and Johnstone). "An excoriating satire that won Johnstone respect as a wit but few friends, the novel is set roughly during the period of the Seven Years' War (1757–63) and pretends to reveal political secrets, and to expose the private profligacy of many of the well-known—and highly colourful—public characters of the time." (ODNB) 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.