Item Details

Twelve Sketches Illustrative of Sir Walter Scott's Demonology and Witchcraft.

London, UK: Published for the Artist, 1830. First Edition. Original Wraps. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) in the form of letters to his friend, later son-in-law and biographer J. G. Lockhart about witchcraft and trials, demonology, fairies and elves, astrology, ghosts, and magicians. Scott, in particular, discusses witch's marks, as one poignant topic, he writes, "... there is room also to believe that the professed prickers used a pin, the point, or lower part of which was, on being pressed down, sheathed in the upper, which was hollow for the purpose, and that which appeared to enter the body did not pierce it at all." Such needles are described by [Robbins 24 (Figure 2)]. Howard P. Lovecraft described the work once as one of the best compendiums on European witchcraft. "The book takes the form of ten letters addresses to Lockhart, the epistolary mode permitting Scott to be both conversational in tone and discursive in method. In these, Scott surveys opinions respecting demonology and witchcraft from the Old Testament period to his own day." [Walter Scott Archives, Edinburgh University Library]. This illustration suites of prints are the 12 illustrated plates (sans text by Scott) by George Cruikshank's illustrations, those being: Corps de Ballet, The Spectre Skeleton; Goddess Freya, Elfin Tricks; Persecuted Butler; Elfin Arrow Manufactory; Fairy Revenge; Puck in Mischief; "Black John-Chastising the Witches"; Witches Frolic; Tak aff the Ghaist; and, The Ghost of Mrs Leckie. Scott's account is amply illustrated with anecdotes and traditional tales and may be read as an anthology of uncanny stories as much as a philosophical treatise with Cruikshank's own application of whimsy he is most known for. Scarce in original wrappers. Very Good+. Evenly toned and slight image transfer, upper loss to tp, although uncompromised, staining to front wraps, foxing throughout, not uncommon, else tight, bright, and unmarred. Bound in original brown wraps, gilt title to leather spine label to slipcase. Slipcase flap with removed binder ticket. Housed in a brown cloth 3-flap, with matching slipcase. 12mo. illus. (12 etched plates, each with a facing leaf of descriptive text). Item #12140

Price: $1,000.00

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