New York: William Rudge, 1928. String bound folio of 13 pages, in the original card folder. Folder is a bit worn at extremities, very good condition overall. Prospectus for the ambitious, fiscally catastrophic yet typographically impressive edition of the Boswell papers.
The prospectus itself is an impressive piece of composition and design, and this example includes a facsimile leaf of Boswell's manuscript, along with the printed invitation to subscribers for the first six volumes at a staggering three-hundred-and-fifty dollars (with the contracted promise that the entire publication can be secured with down-payment of nine hundred dollars). The project was overblown and went over budget, ruining Lt.-Colonel Isham as printing of the later volumes stretched into the great Depression of the thirties.
Printed by Edwin Rudge in New York, Colonel Isham enlisted none other than the great typographer Bruce Rogers, who writes that 'no especial effort has been made to secure an air of antiquity, but by the importation of a recent English reproduction of John Baskerville's famous eighteenth century types it has been possible to present the text in a form typographically harmonious with Boswell's individual mode of expression'.
The gallant ambitions of Lt.-Colonel Isham are recounted in a booklet by Kenneth Auchincloss titled Magnificent Obsession. The printing of the Boswell papers (New York, 1995), which is included with the original prospectus offered here. Item #3118
Price (AUD): $330.00