SCOTT, Sir Walter.

Ivanhoe; a Romance.

In three volumes.

Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co.; Hurst, Robinson and Co., London, 1820 Stock Code: 131636

"One of the most remarkable novels of the nineteenth century" (ODNB)

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First edition, second issue. The print run was increased due to promising advance orders, and the first sheets of vol. I were reset with some corrections for the additional copies; this second issue "appears to have been accomplished within a few days of original publication" (Todd and Bowden, p. 505). "Ivanhoe is essentially a moral work. It is an intense consideration of misogyny and racial oppression, in which the attempted rape of Rebecca the Jewess by the dominant figure of the Norman master race, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, is a powerful symbol of the themes of the novel. Ivanhoe may be set in a distant period, but it has a political modernity which makes it one of the most remarkable novels of the nineteenth century" (ODNB).

This copy has a pleasing Scottish provenance: contemporary armorial bookplates of James Urquhart of Meldrum (1759-1835), advocate, Sheriff of Banffshire (1784) and, like Scott, a member of the Speculative Society, although he resigned in 1780, Scott becoming a member in 1791; inked presentation inscription dated 1950 from one Gordon B. Duff to the Scottish academic and writer William Douglas Simpson (1896-1968) - who published works on Scottish mediaeval architecture and archaeology - to the front free endpaper of vol. I. Simpson's ownership signature is also on the front free endpaper of the second and third volumes; loosely inserted in the second volume is a bookseller's notes on Urquhart and Simpson.

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3 volumes, octavo (176 x 109 mm). Contemporary calf, smooth spines lettered and numbered in gilt on green and red morocco labels, blue edges.


A few very minor pencil annotations. Half-titles present. Lightly rubbed, repaired tear without loss to vol. II pp. 217-220 and 283-4. A very attractive set, contents clean.


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