Book Details


The lives of the poets of Great Britain and Ireland, to the time of Dean Swift
Published: London, R. Griffiths, 1753.
Description: Robert Shiels (d. 1753) had little formal education but, according to Samuel Johnson, had "a very acute understanding" (Poets, 2.329). He worked his way up from journeyman printer to one of the assistants on Johnson's Dictionary. The publisher Ralph Griffiths commissioned Shiels to work on The Lives of the Poets with Theophilus Cibber (1703-1758), the son of the eminent playwright and actor Colley Cibber. The two men could hardly have been more different in background, personality and politics — and they could hardly have gotten along worse. The project degenerated into an edit war, and the two men came close to fighting a duel over it. In the end, only Cibber's name appeared on the title page. Editions of this book are of interest to historians of books and printing, as well as scholars of readership, reception, and literature.
Condition/Repair: The boards are loose. The conservator will make kozo hinge repairs to volumes two, three and four of a five-volume work.
Donation Needed: $150.00