By the Author of "Waverley,["] ["]Peveril of the Peak," &c. Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co. Edinburgh; and Hurst, Robinson, and Co. London, 1823. Original textured grey-green cloth, with printed spine labels.
First Edition, first issue, of Scott's well-known adventure tale sited in Fifteenth Century France, amidst the conflict between King Louis XI and the ambitious Duke of Burgundy. The Duke arranges a marriage for the young Burgundian heiress Isabelle, in order to ensure that her wealth remains within his dukedom, so the King sends a young Scot in his guard, Quentin Durward, to rescue Isabelle and convey her to safety -- a journey beset by dangers from all sides. (QUENTIN DURWARD caused quite a sensation in Paris, as this was Scott's first setting of a novel in a foreign land.) Among Scott's novels, certainly IVANHOE is the best known; however, after IVANHOE there are three others -- ROB ROY, KENILWORTH and QUENTIN DURWARD -- that would be considered by most to fall into the "second tier," above all of the rest.
The "first issue" of the first edition, as here, is easily identifiable because both the second and third "issues" read "Second Edition" on the title pages. This set is bound in original grey-green thin textured cloth, whereas most are in paper-covered boards with these same labels. T&B cites the binding as "drab, green, or grey-green boards with printed labels," but this is definitely grey-green cloth, not (paper-covered) boards; it is possible that this set was initially bound up by the publisher later in the 1820s, but then why is it NOT a later issue copy?
In any case, this set is in remarkably near-fine condition -- the only flaw of note being some bubbling of the cloth, almost unavoidable due to the thinness of the cloth. The volumes are tight, the pale yellow endpapers are original and uncracked, and there is scarcely any foxing on the leaves -- amazing condition for volumes in their original delicate bindings approaching 200 years of age. Todd & Bowden 167Aa; Worthington 15. Housed in a cloth case with leather label, containing three (worn) chemises. Provenance: early bookplates with "D E" or "E D" monogram in raised blue letters. Item #14716