“THE VIVIFICATION OF HISTORY”: HANDSOMELY BOUND 51-VOLUME SET OF SCOTT’S WAVERLEY NOVELS, COPIOUSLY ILLUSTRATED, INCLUDING A HAND-COLORED FRONTISPIECE IN EACH VOLUME
SCOTT, Walter. The Works. WITH: OLCOTT, Charles S. The Country of Sir Walter Scott. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1912-13. Fifty-one volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and partly unopened. $4500.
Limited large-paper edition of Scott’s celebrated historical novels, number 48 of only 375 sets, profusely illustrated, including a hand-colored view and a frontipiece signed by the illustrator in each volume, portraits of female characters, and photographs of locations and scenery “very much as Scott saw them,” very handsomely bound.
In his “Waverly Novels” (first published 1814-32), Scott was not only dramatizing Scotland and England’s past but also “pouring out the stores of anecdote and legend and the vivid impressions of the scenery which he had been imbibing from his early childhood while rambling through the country in close and friendly intercourse with all classes. Scott’s personal charm, his combination of masculine sense with wide and generous sympathy, enabled him to attract an unprecedentedly numerous circle of readers to these almost impromptu utterances of a teeming imagination” (DNB). Includes Scott’s most famous works Waverley, Rob Roy, The Bride of Lammermoor and Ivanhoe. In an attempt to create an “ideal edition,” the editors commissioned a series of photographs of Scottish scenery “to enable the reader fully to understand these backgrounds and thereby add materially to his appreciation of the author…These pictures represent the scenes very much as Scott saw them. The natural scenery—mountains, woods, lakes, rivers, seashore, and the like—is nearly the same as in his day. The ruins of ancient castles and abbeys were found to correspond very closely with his his descriptions.” With The Country of Sir Walter Scott, describing a tour of Scotland in search of Scott landmarks and scenery for the set, also profusely illustrated. Additional hand-colored title page finished in gilt in Volume I. Frontispieces to Volumes 35 and 45 only are not signed. Bookplates.
Volumes 29 and 30 with a bit of occasional minor marginal dampstaining. Spines evenly toned to brown. A wonderful production.