THE ADVENTURES OF RODERICK RANDOM.

(London: Printed for W. Strahan et al. 1770). 173 x 103 mm. (7 x 4 1/4"). Two volumes. Eighth Edition.

Contemporary marbled calf, thick gilt rule on covers, simple gilt rules and volume numbers on spine Frontispiece in each volume. Very minor wear to joints and extremities, superficial crackling to spines, but A REMARKABLY FINE COPY INSIDE AND OUT.

Perhaps the first truly autobiographical novel in English, this picaresque narrative involves its hero in a wide variety of harrowing episodes that range from farcical to terrifying. Except for some good-natured English seamen, these episodes are populated almost entirely by brutal, coarse, and selfish monsters. This was Smollett's first novel, the book that made his name, and the work that usually conveys the author's identity on the title pages of subsequent novels, written "by the author of Roderick Random." A man of many abilities and considerable experience, Smollett (1721-71) made major contributions as an historian, critic, editor, translator, and, above all, novelist. In this last capacity, he is generally seen as a master of faithful naturalistic narrative and, at the same time, the first important caricaturist in English fiction. He wrote some of the best early fiction involving men on ships, and he is one of the few writers who brought to his narratives a sense of the intellectual life of the period. The present copy is little changed from its days in an 18th century gentleman's library.
(CDT1712)