Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since
Hard Cover. Edinburgh: Printed for James Ballantyne and Co., 1814. First Edition. Fine.
Three volumes. First edition. One of 1000 copies. Bound with all half-titles and fly-titles, lacking the terminal imprint leaves as usual, terminal blanks present. 12mo. Finely bound in contemporary dark navy morocco over purple marbled paper-covered boards, compartments ruled in gilt, gilt decorations to spine ends, gilt unicorn emblem to lower spine compartments, spine titles in gilt, marbled edges and green endpapers. A fine set with very slight signs of rubbing to the extremities, a few very minor spots, otherwise extremely bright and clean. Overall, an extremely attractive and remarkably fine set. Todd & Bowden 77Aa. Set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Waverley is often considered among scholars to be the first historical novel. Scott was influenced by 18th century enlightenment, evidenced by his realistic depiction of peasant characters and his ideas of social reform that also embrace the importance of tradition. First published in 1814, Waverley found immediate popularity; all 1,000 copies of the first edition were sold within two days. Waverley, along with Scott's other novels, was highly praised by both critics and other authors. Jane Austen said "Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. -- It is not fair. He has Fame and Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people's mouths. -- I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it -- but fear I must." A unicorn, the national animal of Scotland, adorns the spines of this contemporary binding. A symbol of strength, pride, and chivalry, the unicorn was first used by William I on the Scottish royal coat of arms in the 12th century, and later alongside the English lion representing the two countries united under the rule of James I.