1789. London: J. Johnson, 1789.
Small 8vo, viii, 224 pages. With a frontispiece engraved by Blake after Fuseli. Contemporary calf, red morocco label, a little rubbed along the upper joint, generally a very good copy. Neat ink inscription on a front blank and ink signature of the period on the title-page "Mich Kearney".
§ Second edition (first printed in 1788), first state of the plate. The frontispiece is after a drawing by Fuseli (see Essick, Blake and His Contemporaries..., 43 for the original drawing) and is a powerful image. The text notes “End of Vol. I” but no further volumes appeared as a fire destroyed Lavater’s manuscript at the printer. The Huntington Library has Blake’s own copy, extensively annotated throughout. Bentley, Blake Books, 480. Essick and Easson 2, XXXII, 1c. Essick, William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations, XVIII. kearney might well be the scholar mentioned in DNB: "Kearney published Lectures Concerning History (1776), a slender work but clear and stimulating, and contributed two papers to the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, the first on the origins of the alphabet, the second on Sir Joshua Reynolds's Discourses. He also contributed some notes to Edmond Malone's edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson. He died in Dublin on 11 January 1814, and was buried in St Ann's, Dublin. His obituary notice in the Gentleman's Magazine unusually suggests that he was a very talented man who had failed to fulfil expectations. Kearney, the notice stated, was 'deeply read in divinity, versed in all the subtleties of metaphysical disquisition, unequalled as a historian, skilled alike in the learned and modern languages and critically acquainted with English literature', but for thirty-six years this profound scholar resided on his benefice 'in a remote country where his talents and learning were lost to the world' (GM, 84/1)." Item #123298