First Dublin Edition
[JOHNSON, Samuel]. COURTENAY, John. A poetical review of the literary and moral character of the late Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. : with notes by John Courtenay, Esq. Dublin : Printed by P. Byrne, No. 108, Grafton-Street, 1786.
4to., disbound, pp. 40. A little dog-earring and occasional browning otherwise a very good copy preserved in cloth fall-down-back box with leather label.
First Dublin edition, first issue, with Byrne the only named printer. Copies of this edition are also found with the imprint "Dublin : printed for Luke White, and P. Byrne, 1786." Comparing both copies held at Harvard the latter imprint with both names has a cancel stub behind the title page from which we presume that that is a later issue. OCLC records only Huntingdon Library and Harvard for this imprint.
Irish politician John Courtenay frequented London literary society, attaching himself to James Boswell as a fellow admirer of Samuel Johnson, on whose character he published A Poetical Review in 1786. Courtenay's poetical biography was one of the first to be published after Johnson's death. Courtenay is one of the biographers pictured in James Sayer’s famous satirical engraving on Johnson’s biographers.
Boswell in his Life of Johnson describes Courtenay's work, as ,"a performance of such merit, that had I not been honoured with a very kind and partial notice in it, I should echo the sentiments of men of the first taste loudly in its praise".