London: Printed for A. Churchill, T. Goodwin, J. Knapton, R. Smith, B. Tooke, J. Round, J. Tonson, O. Lloyd, W. Meres, T. Woodward and F. Clay, 1720. Quarto, 31cm x 20.5cm, full calf, portrait frontispiece, title page, pagination 480pp (vol 1), 585pp (vol 2). Both volumes have been re-backed with a lighter calf, leather boards show moderate scuffing and bumped corners, first quire of volume 1 is coming detached at the head but still attached at the foot, moderate to heavy foxing at the first and last quires of both volumes, otherwise mostly clean throughout. Very Good.
Sir William Temple distinguished himself as diplomat, statesman and writer during the reign of King Charles II. Jonathan Swift was a great fan, claiming, “[i]t is generally believed that this author has advanced our English tongue to as great a perfection as it can well bear”, and Johnson is said to have remarked that Temple was the first to give cadence to English prose (Minto 1995, p312).
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