1862 Rare Dog Story in a Bayntun Binding - Rab and His Friends illustrated by Dr John Brown.
Author: Dr. John Brown.
Title: Rab and His Friends.
Publisher: Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1862.
Language: Text in English.
Size: 10 " X 8 ".
Pages: x-34 pages.
Binding: Attractive and near fine binding, finely bound by Bayntun in half blue morocco leather (hinges fine, overall slightly worn and scuffed - as shown) under a protective removable mylar cover. Upper edge gilt.
Content: Very good content (bright, tight and clean, rare light foxing or staining - as shown).
Illustrations: Complete with the 7 beautiful full-page engraved plates.
The book: Rare, attractive and nicely bound by Bayntun early edition of "Rab and his Friends" - a short story by Scottish writer Dr John Brown. It was very popular in the 19th century and often considered John Brown's best, or at least most well-known work. Even though short in length it was often published as a single volume with illustrations.
The title character 'Rab' - the Lowland Scots form of 'Rob' - is "a huge mastiff" dog. He is described as being "old, grey, brindled, as big as a Highland bull", as well as being extremely loyal and loving.
"Rab and His Friends" is a simple story that includes an insight into how John Brown's teacher and employer, Doctor James Syme, taught and operated. The other main characters are Rab, a ferocious mastiff dog, his owner, James Noble, a carter or carrier by trade, and the carter's ailing wife Ailie. Set in Edinburgh in the 1830s, the story begins with a fight between Rab and a bull terrier which Brown, the narrator, watches as a teenage boy. Six years later, Brown is a medical student at Minto House Hospital and has maintained a friendship with Rab and James, the laconic carrier. One day, James arrives at the hospital with his wife Allie, who is found to have advanced breast cancer. Following an operation, Allie dies, attended by James and Rab. Not long after Allie's funeral, James dies too, and the carrier's business is sold, along with James's horse and dog. A chance meeting between Brown and the new owner reveals that Rab the dog had to be killed, because he wouldn't let anybody near the horse out of loyalty to James. The story ends with the faithful dog's funeral.
The author: John Brown FRSE FRCPE (22 September 1810 – 11 May 1882) was a Scottish physician and essayist known for his three-volume Horae Subsecivae (Leisure Hours, 1858), containing essays and papers on art, medical history and biography. Best remembered are his dog story "Rab and his Friends" (1859) and his essays "Pet Marjorie" (1863), on Marjorie Fleming, the ten-year-old prodigy and alleged "pet" of Walter Scott, "Our Dogs", "Minchmoor", and "The Enterkine". Brown was half-brother to the organic chemist Alexander Crum Brown.
The binder: George Bayntun was born in 1873 in Bath, England. After an apprenticeship, he began his own bookbinding business in Bath in 1894, binding books by hand with great craftsmanship. Although many binders were using machines in their process, Bayntun refused to use modern techniques.
Share this Product
More from this collection
1862 Rare Dog Story in a Bayntun Binding - Rab and His Friends illustrated by Dr John Brown. Price List