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SCOTT, Sir Walter (1771--1832)
The lady of the lake. A poem. By Walter Scott, Esq. The ninth edition.
Edinburgh printed for J. Ballantyne & Co. Edinburgh; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, and W. Miller, London, 1811.
[10], 433, [1] p. ; 21.3 cm. (8°)

Originally published in May 1810; four more editions of The lady of the lake were published in the same year, for a total of over 20,000 copies. Such was the anticipated popularity of the poem that two rival sets of illustrations by Richard Westall and Richard Cook were in preparation before it was even published, both issued in 1811 and accompanying different editions of the poem singly or together, and the poetic and prose works of Scott provided the most popular contemporary literary subject treated by the new national school of British painting encouraged by the Royal Academy and the British Institution. See Catherine Gordon, 'The illustration of Sir Walter Scott: nineteenth-century enthusiasm and adaptation', in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 34 (1971), pp. 297--317. While Soane seems to have preferred Shakespeare as a source for literary illustration in his own collection, a contemporary critic, giving an account of Soane's interiors at the House of Lords, asserted that the imagination of their creator 'defies years and resembles the poetry of Sir Walter Scott: it is graceful, luxuriant, and striking.' (The Literary Gazette, 31 January 1824, quoted by David Watkin, Sir John Soane: Enlightenment thought and the Royal Academy Lectures, Cambridge 1996, p. 420). One of the rare escapees from Soane's library is another Scott poem from 1811, The vision of Don Roderick, bought by Soane in the year of publication and sold at Sotheby's (22 September 1987, lot 498). While the Library holds none of the Waverley novels, it does possess an autograph copy of George Soane's play The Hebrew (q.v.) founded upon Scott's Ivanhoe as well as Scott's Letters on demonology and witchcraft, 1830 (q.v.) in Murray's Family Library series, and the eighteen-volume edition of Dryden, 1808 (q.v.).

Copy Notes With the set of six plates with an engraved title-plate for the whole work by Richard Cook, issued in 1811 and intended to illustrate editions of the poems (q.v.), bound in. Also inserted is an extraneous portrait of Scott engraved by Raimbach after Sir Henry Raeburn with the imprint of R.H. Cromek and J. Sharpe, dated 1 February 1811.

Binding C19th diced russia calf, blind-tooled palmette and anthemion borders inside thick-thin gilt rule, gilt roll-tooled turn-ins, blind- and gilt-tooled spine with direct-lettered title, author, place of publication ('Edin.') and date, gilt text-block edges, marbled endpapers.

Reference Number 1498


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