The vanity of human wishes

Alternative Title

The vanity of human wishes : the tenth satire of Juvenal imitated

Date Created



PR3530 1984 [Special Collections Oversize]



Rampant Lions Press : Cambridge, England


Samuel Johnson finished writing The Vanity of Human Wishes on 25 November 1748; it was first published 9 January 1749. This limited edition (no.128 of 200 copies) has a slightly longer publication history. The superb etchings by Denis Tegetmeier were originally done in 1929 for a book that was proposed but scrapped because of the Depression. In 1937, bookmaker Douglas Cleverdon planned to resuscitate the project. However, the War intervened. In 1969 another edition was planned but the project foundered through lack of enthusiasm. As Will Carter, designer and printer at Rampant Lion, states: ‘It is hoped that the present edition will make some amends to Denis for the fifty years that he has, with exemplary patience, awaited the publication of his etchings.’




Johnson, Samuel, Tegetmeier, Denis, and Hodgart, Matthew John Caldwell, “The vanity of human wishes,” | OUR Heritage, accessed June 25, 2024,