"THE HIGHEST POINT OF HIS LITERARY AND SOCIAL PROSPERITY": FIRST EDITION OF SIR WALTER SCOTT'S IVANHOE
SCOTT, Walter. Ivanhoe; A Romance. Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co., 1820. Three volumes bound in two. 12mo, period-style three-quarter plum morocco, retaining contemporary marbled boards. $5300.
Scarce first edition, first issue, of Scott’s chivalric classic, attractively bound.
"Who could now imagine that he could form a satisfactory notion of the golden days… of Richard Coeur de Lion and his brave paladins that had not read Ivanhoe?" (Allibone, 1976). After the success of Scott's Waverley, "the whole English-reading world waited for another book from the same pen. Ivanhoe appeared… [and] was 'Scott's culminating success in a book-selling sense, and marked the highest point both of his literary and social prosperity" (Grolier 100, 71). The first of Scott's historical romances set in England, Ivanhoe "contains episodes which, once read… are never forgotten and characters which remain unfadingly vivid" (Baugh et al., 1212)—including, notably, Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. First issue, with Todd & Bowden's press figures; with Worthington's ten "first state" points in the Introduction to Volume I; one of the first 6000 copies printed and sent to London for sale. Bound without half titles and without publisher's advertisements. Todd & Bowden 140Aa. Worthington 8. An English Library, 46. Lowndes, 2226.
Text generally clean, light rubbing to boards and corners. An attractive, near-fine copy.