The Rare First Edition of Scott’s “Waverley”
SCOTT, Sir Walter. Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since. Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co.... , 1814.
First edition of Sir Walter Scott’s rare first novel, one of 1,000 copies printed. With all of the printing errors cited by Worthington pp. 16-17. (except for Volume I p. 210, Volume II p. 79 and Volume III, p. 159, which Worthington states only occur in some copies). Three twelvemo volumes (6 3/4 x 4 inches; 172 x 103 mm.). [8], 358, [1, printer’s imprint], [3, blank]; [8], 370, [1, printer’s imprint], [5, blank]; [8], 371, [5, blank] pp. Complete with half-titles and with final imprint leaves in Volume I and II.

Contemporary full brown calf, rebacked with original spines laid down. Each spine with a red and a black spine label. Front boards tooled in gilt. Spines stamped and lettered in gilt. Edges speckled brown. Marbled endpapers. Each volume with previous owner Thomas Peers Williams' bookplate on front pastedown. Some very minor offsetting to first half-title of volume I. A very small light dampstain to top margin of pages 167-171 of volume II. Overall a very good set.

“The first of the forty or so ‘Waverley Novels’ was the progenitor and has become the archetype of the historical novel throughout the world. At one blow Scott had established a new literary form; and the basic principles on which Waverley and all his subsequent novels were constructed have been disregarded only at the peril of artistic failure” (Printing and the Mind of Man, 273).

Printing and the Mind of Man 273. Van Antwerp, pp. 79-87. Todd and Bowden, Sir Walter Scott, 77Aa. Worthington 1.

HBS # 68211 $4,500