Maggs Bros Ltd

The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves.

Smollett, Tobias (1762)

£750.00  [First Edition]

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By the Author of Roderick Random.First Edition. 2 vols.12mo. [iv], 264; [iv], 283pp. Early 20th-century polished calf, gilt spines by Riviere & Son.London: for J. Coote,

Small strip repaired at the head of each title where a signature has been removed.First Edition of Smollett's scarcest novel which had previously appeared in weekly instalments in The British Magazine (Jan. 1760 - Dec. 1761).

"Too readily dismissed as a pale imitation of Don Quixote, it is important in several respects. The density of the opening description anticipates similar openings in Dickens (Wierstra, chap. 4), and the serialized publication meant that Smollett established a precedent in so structuring material as to guarantee enduring reader interest. The supposed madness of the hero is integral to Smollett's satire: Launcelot employs his reason against the enemies of virtue, with his moderation and piety discomfiting the exemplars of corruption that he encounters, so enabling Smollett to satirize lawyers, politicians, and the conduct of elections, and convey his opposition to the war with Germany and his distaste for both political parties. As habitually with Smollett, the action is resolved with the triumph of reason." - ODNB.

Provenance: Lt. Col. Ralph H. Isham (1890-1955), the great Boswell and Johnson collector, with bookplate.

Stock Code: 60499