8vo., pp. , 107, [1, advertisement for Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides], with half-title; a particularly fine copy, stitched in the original blue-grey wrappers (with watermark 1797: presumably this Letter had not sold as well as anticipated after the runaway success of Boswell’s first Letter to the People of Scotland, an attack on Fox’s East-India Bill, and twelve years later some sheets were still in stock).
US $1888 €1749
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A Letter to the People of Scotland, on the alarming Attempt to infringe the Articles of Union, and introduce a most pernicious Innovation by diminishing the Number of the Lords of Session … London: Printed for Charles Dilly … 1785.
First edition of Boswell’s second Letter to the People of Scotland, written to oppose a bill in Parliament for reducing the number of the Lords of Session from fifteen to ten. Boswell, who believed that this attack on the highest court in Scotland for civil causes was a direct infringement of the Articles of Union and a move designed to tighten the grip of Henry Dundas over Scottish affairs, wrote with great urgency, one sheet ahead of the printer. The result is a tract notable for ‘its exuberance of tone and the wealth of personal allusion’, although in later years Boswell felt that it was perhaps too extravagant (Pottle). But it helped to carry the day, and the bill was quietly dropped.
Pottle 56; Rothschild 455; PBSA, 68 (1974), 237-5
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