"The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia," is an apologue about happiness by Samuel Johnson. He wrote the piece in only one week to help pay the costs of his mother's funeral, intending to complete it on 22 January 1759 (the eve of his mother's death). The book was first published in April 1759 in England.
Johnson was influenced by the vogue for exotic locations. He had translated "A Voyage to Abyssinia" by Jerónimo Lobo in 1735 and used it as the basis for a "philosophical romance". Ten years prior to writing Rasselas he published "The Vanity of Human Wishes" in which he describes the inevitable defeat of worldly ambition. Early readers considered Rasselas to be a work of philosophical and practical importance and critics often remark on the difficulty of classifying it as a novel. Johnson was a staunch opponent of slavery, revered by abolitionists, and Rasselas became a name adopted by emancipated slaves.
Book is in fair condition with foxing, tanned pages, owner's name, some pages are loosening, frontis tissue is torn, edgewear and general wear and soil. No date, inscription dated 1902. 5 * 7 with 98 pages.
- Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia
- Samuel Johnson
- George Routledge and Sons