[original boards, leaves uncut] Edinburgh: Printed for the Author, and Sold by William Creech, 1787. Original blue-grey paper-covered boards with cream paper spine and printed label, page edges uncut.
The Edinburgh edition, which is to say the second edition overall, following the rare Kilmarnock edition of 1786 (and containing 22 poems that had not been in the earlier edition). Burns arranged for William Creech to print this book; there was no publisher. In a 17 April 1787 announcement in the Edinburgh Advertiser, Burns says: "N.B. As this book is published for the sole benefit of the Author, it is requested that subscribers will send for their copies, and none will be delivered without money." The Edinburgh edition includes an engraved portrait of Burns, a list of the subscribers who made the edition possible, and a glossary of Scottish dialect at the rear.~This copy has the errors "The Duke of Boxburgh" under "R" in the list of subscribers, page 232 mispaginated, and "Auld Scotland wants nae stinking ware" in the poem "To a Haggis" (it was meant to be "skinking," a Scottish-dialect word for watery or diluted). Curiously, the earlier state properly reads "skinking"; it then transformed into "stinking" for this second state -- an error that was then carried forward into the London edition.~This copy is, remarkably, still in the paper-covered boards in which the book was initially issued in 1787 -- with the leaves entirely uncut. Yes, the spine paper is worn away at the bottom two inches of the spine, and yes, the spine label is just about worn away (one can barely make out the poet's last name). It is not hard to find this edition rebound in leather, with the page edges trimmed down; however it is extremely difficult to find a copy still in the original boards, as here. Egerer 2 (who noted in 1964: "Copies of either the "skinking" or the "stinking" edition in original boards are very rare."). Provenance: contemporary armorial bookplate of [William Ogilvy, the eighth] Lord Banff -- upon whose death in 1803 the baronetcy would become extinct; although his name is not in the list of subscribers, he must have been the original owner of this copy. Housed in a cloth clamshell case. Item #13498