2vols, 12mo, pp. I: xxvi, , 240, [8 (erroneously paginated)], II: , 275, [1 (blank)]; woodcut ornaments and initials; very occasional offsetting and spotting; a very good set in nineteenth-century mottled calf by Riviere (pastedowns stamped), borders roll-tooled in gilt, spines gilt in compartments with gilt green morocco lettering-pieces, board-edges and turn-ins roll-tooled in gilt, edges gilt, together in a recent brown buckram slipcase with calf opening; very lightly rubbed at extremities, subtly rebacked with spine-pieces relaid; copper-engraved armorial bookplates of I. Leveson Douglas Stewart, Glenogil, and later bookplates of A. Edward Newton, Oak Knoll.
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Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea, wherein are exhibited Views of several striking Scenes, with curious and interesting Anecdotes of the most noted Persons in every Rank of Life, whose Hands it passed through, in America, England, Holland, Germany, and Portugal … by an Adept.
First edition. Chrysal’s enormous popularity derived from its thinly-veiled chronicle of contemporary scandals in political high life: ‘An excoriating satire that won Johnstone respect as a wit but few friends, the novel is set roughly during the period of the Seven Years’ War (1757-63) and pretends to reveal political secrets, and to expose the private profligacy of many of the well-known – an highly colourful – public characters of the time’ (ODNB).
Johnstone continued to revise and expand the novel, adding two further volumes in 1765.
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