I thought I had a copy of a facsimile of that famous first published in 1755, but I must have given that away. I seem to remember that trying to read the antiquated typeface gave me a headache.
I found this sample of an entry in Dr. Johnson's dictionary online.
I did however find a biography of Dr. J among my family collection of Really Old Books. I have a small assortment of five books from a set called Eclectic English Classics that were from my grandmother's school days. They were published by American Book Company. The copyright date in my copy is 1895.
On the back cover is a list of the 44 books in the series. The prices range from 20 cents to 50 cents. The other surviving ones are Silas Marner, The Life and Writings of Addison, The Sir Roger De Coverley Papers from The Spectator, and L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus, and Lycidas by Milton.
Since I am not reading anything of import at the moment, perhaps I will dip into this brief biography.
I don't suppose the books in this little set are worth much on the open market but I wouldn't sell them anyway as the sentimental value is priceless. There on the first page is my grandmother's signature (maiden name) written in pencil. No date, but on the last blank page is written her fond note to someone called "W.C" who may have been a teacher or friend. Or perhaps a beau.
I probably will never know. Another family history mystery.
Have you come across any 'mysteries' among the inscriptions in any of the books in your library?