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Tytler (Alexander Fraser) Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry Home of Kames...: Containing Sketches of the Progress of Literature and General Improvement in Scotland during the Greater Part of the Eighteenth Century.
Edinburgh: Printed for William Creech; and T. Cadell and W. Davies, London, 1807-09 . first edition, 2 Vols., 4to., engraved portrait frontispiece, 2 plates of handwriting specimens in vol.ii, with half-titles and terminal errata and binder's leaves, some browning to supplement and appendix as usual; contemp. calf, gilt, dark blue and olive green morocco labels, excellent presentation copy to John Ramsay of Ochtertyre, inscribed on the volume i title verso To John Ramsay Esqr. of Ochtertyre/ as a Testimony of sincere friendship/ and Esteem/ from The Author. The title verso of the Supplement (1809), bound at the end of volume i, is also inscribed, and at the front of the volume, there is a leaf containing a manuscript verse eulogy in Latin (eight lines) addressed to Ramsay, signed AFT. The book was clearly bound for presentation, and it is, to all intents and purposes, the dedication copy. Ramsay might have written Kames's biography himself: Kames was his closest friend and neighbour, and features prominently in his memoirs of his contemporaries, Scotland and Scotsmen in the Eighteenth Century, published posthumously (1888). He did, however, contribute greatly to Tytler's work, and is identified in the preface as the "very learned and ingenious friend, - an old and intimate acquaintance of Lord Kames; for [having provided] a variety of curious matter, illustrative of his Lordship's character, the characters of his cotemporaries [sic], and the manners of his age, which that gentleman had studied with the most discriminating sagacity." Ramsay is warmly acknowledged elsewhere in the work, for example at pages 42 and 58 of volume i. Tytler was another close friend of the subject's, and his biography includes several letters from Hume, Franklin, Thomas Reid, Alexander Gerard, Josiah Tucker, and others; it is also a major source for the life of Monboddo. The important Supplement arose due to the availability of the memoirs of Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk, and some manuscript collections of James Boswell, who at one time was preparing materials for a life of Kames. Alexander Fraser Tytler, one of Edinburgh's illuminati, wrote on a variety of miscellaneous subjects, including a supplementary volume to Lord Kames's Dictionary of Decisions. In 1780 he was appointed joint professor of universal history at the university and in 1786 sole professor. Lord Cockburn notes that it as professor of history that he was chiefly distinguished, but posterity remembers him best for his writings, and for his association with such notable contemporaries as Kames, Monboddo, Dugald Stewart, Dr. John Gregory, Henry Mackenzie, Robert Burns (whose Poems of 1793 or 1794 he is said to have seen through the press) and many others.
      [Bookseller: Grant & Shaw Ltd]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      UKBookworld    

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