1830 Scarce First Edition with 36 illustrations by CRUIKSHANK - Letters on DEMONOLOGY & WITCHCRAFT by W. Scott bound by WOOD.
Author: Scott, Sir Walter. (George Cruikshank, illustrator).
Title: Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft Addressed to J.G. Lockhart, Esq.
Publisher : London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1830. First Edition.
Language: Text in English.
Size: 6 " X 4 ".
Pages: ix-402 pages.
Binding: Attractive and very good full red morocco leather binding, finely bound by Wood of London for Charles J. Sawyer Ltd., Bookseller in London, with bespoke tools for this edition of gilt witch hat, frightened cat and grinning goblins on boards, spines and turn-ins (hinges fine, overall slightly worn and scuffed - as shown) under a protective removable mylar cover. Upper edge gilt. An extraordinary binding!
Content: Very good, near fine content (bright, tight, and clean, lower corner of frontispiece illustration creased - as shown, rare light foxing or staining - as shown).
Illustrations: Beautifully illustrated with the frontispiece of the Bow in Edinburgh by Lizars after J. Skene and the wonderful 12 plates by George Cruikshank in IN THREE STATES (colored, uncolored, and India proofs), one of which is hand-colored, the two other states are black and white on a different support paper. 37 illustrations (frontis + (12*3)). A wonderful illustrated First Edition!
The book: Very attractive and scarce first edition with the complete 12 engraved plates in THREE STATES by George Cruikshank of Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft in a beautiful and attractive Wood of London binding.
-- In ill health following a stroke, Sir Walter Scott wrote Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft at the behest of his son-in-law, J. G. Lockhart, who worked for a publishing firm. Letters was written when educated society believed itself in enlightened times due to advances in modern science. Letters, however, revealed that all social classes still held beliefs in ghosts, witches, warlocks, fairies, elves, diabolism, the occult, and even werewolves. Sourcing from prior sixteenth- and seventeenth-century treatises on demonology along with contemporary accounts from England, Europe, and North America (Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi, for one), Scott's discourses on the psychological, religious, physical, and preternatural explanations for these beliefs are essential reading for acolytes of the dark and macabre; the letters dealing with witch hunts, trials (Letters Eight and Nine), and torture are morbidly compelling. Scott was neither fully pro-rational modernity nor totally anti-superstitious past, as his skepticism of one of the "new" sciences (skullology, as he calls it) is made clear in a private letter to a friend. Thus, Letters is both a personal and intellectual examination of conflicting belief systems, when popular science began to challenge superstition in earnest.
The author: Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet FRSE (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.
The illustrator: George Cruikshank (27 September 1792 – 1 February 1878) was a British caricaturist and book illustrator, praised as the "modern Hogarth" during his life. His book illustrations for his friend Charles Dickens, and many other authors, reached an international audience.
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1830 Scarce First Edition with 36 illustrations by CRUIKSHANK - Letters on DEMONOLOGY & WITCHCRAFT by W. Scott bound by WOOD. Price List