Item #15435 TALES OF MY LANDLORD, Fourth and Last Series... In Four Volumes. Walter Scott.
TALES OF MY LANDLORD, Fourth and Last Series... In Four Volumes.
TALES OF MY LANDLORD, Fourth and Last Series... In Four Volumes.

TALES OF MY LANDLORD, Fourth and Last Series... In Four Volumes.

Collected and Arranged by Jedediah Cleishbotham... Edinburgh: Printed for Robert Cadell / London: Whittaker and Co., 1832. Original drab paper-covered boards with purple spine cloth, with printed spine labels.

First Edition of the last of the Waverley Novels -- actually consisting of "Count Robert of Paris (2½ volumes) and "Castle Dangerous" (1½ volumes), told as if narrated by a "landlord," Jedediah Cleishbotham. Scott wrote these two tales simultaneously in 1830-1831, in declining health that included two strokes. "Count Robert" is set in Byzantium at the time of the arrival of the First Crusaders (1096). "Despite his rapidly deteriorating health, Scott sought a challenge. He believed that there was great potential in describing the declining Byzantine Empire as it confronted both Western Christendom and the advancing Ottoman Empire." "Castle Dangerous," is set in 1306 during the time of Robert the Bruce and the Scottish Wars of Independence.

As he worked on the [latter] novel, Scott became dissatisfied with his descriptions of the [Castle] Douglas area, which he had not visited since childhood. He thus journeyed to Lanarkshire with [his son-in-law] Lockhart hoping to refresh his impressions of the ruined castle and Douglas church and to pick up local traditions and customs. In his biography of his father-in-law, Lockhart records his distress at the waning of Scott's mental powers and memory that became evident to him during this trip. [quotes from WalterScott.lib]

Scott died in September 1832, about nine months after this title was published.

This set is bound in "boards and labels," the style that would begin to die out in the 1830s; we have also had a set in original full green cloth with spine labels. This set is complete, with the errata slips in the first two volumes only; as specified in Todd & Bowden, the first volume has a half-title, while the other three volumes have a half-title, a series title, and a fly-title for the individual story (in addition, of course, to a title page itself).

Condition is near-fine, which is remarkable for volumes still in their original bindings after almost 200 years: the purple cloth spines are faded (as usual with purple), there is minor wear at the binding extremities (a bit more so with Vol IV), and Vols I & IV have a discreet repair at the interior front hinge (otherwise the original endpapers are surprisingly intact and untouched). Todd & Bowden 253A; Worthington 23.

Provenance: the title pages of the first three volumes bear the signature "Sir Alex[ander] Bannerman" [1788-1864]: born in Aberdeen, he was a successful merchant, politician, and colonial minister -- he became Governor of Prince Edward Island (where his wife had been born in Charlottetown), -- and later of the Bahamas, and of Newfoundland. Item #15435

Price: $650.00

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