Archive for June 12th, 2006

Lord Auchinleck, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

I was very pleased to find that we have a copy of Thomas Rowlandson’s hilarious Picturesque Beauties of Boswell in the rare original wrappers. The vast majority of copies would have been bound, or broken up to display the plates, and the wrappers discarded. The engravings depict scenes from Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, L.L.D., albeit filtered through Rowlandson’s wickedly satirical imagination. It would be difficult for me to pick a favorite, but for obvious reasons I’m especially fond of this one showing a confrontation between Johnson and Boswell’s father. Although Rowlandson has almost certainly exaggerated the intensity of the disagreement for comic effect, the depiction may owe something to the infamous story of Johnson assaulting the bookseller Thomas Osborne with a stout folio.

Beauties1

Beauties2

Published in:John Overholt |on June 12th, 2006 |Comments Off on Lord Auchinleck, don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.