ST. RONAN'S WELL, FIRST EDITION, HANDSOMELY BOUND
(SCOTT, Walter). St. Ronan's Well. Edinburgh and London: Printed for Archibald Constable and Hurst, Robinson, 1824 [i.e., 1823]. Three volumes. 12mo, contemporary three-quarter polished red calf gilt, marbled boards. $400.
First edition of Scott's only contemporary novel, handsomely bound.
"In January 1824, Sir Walter Scott published St. Ronan's Well, his first (and last) foray into domestic realism. The novel was a spectacular failure, savaged by critics from both sides of the political spectrum, from England and Scotland, from publications high and low brow. Indeed, the publication of what Ruskin would later call 'the entirely broken and diseased St. Ronan's Well' marks the nadir of one of the most successful careers in 19th-cenury publishing history… Scott apparently got the message," for his next book, Redgauntlet, saw him returning to the genre with which he is most associated, the historical romance (Allen, 163, 165). With half titles. Without final blanks; Volume III without advertisements. Todd & Bowden 171Aa. Worthington 16.
Scattered light foxing. Bindings with light rubbing to spine ends and edges, a few small abrasions to boards. A handsome set in near-fine condition.