Peter’s Letters to His Kinsfolk. The Second Edition.

  • [Lockhart, John Gibson]
  • Edinburgh: Printed for William Blackwood 1819


SKU: 5451 Category: Tags: ,


FIRST EDITION, 3 vols., 8vo, pp. xv, [ii], vi-viii, 333, [1]; viii, 363, [1]; ix, [i], 351, [3] + frontispiece to vol. 1 and 14 additional plates. Contemporary half dark green calf, marbled boards, spines divided by gilt rolls and rules, 2nd and 4th compartments lettered in gilt direct, other compartments tooled in gilt, marbled edges. A little spotting and staining, some foxing to plates. Slightly rubbed, particularly to joints. Bookplates of Jenkin Jones, Royal Engineers, to pastedowns, ownership inscription of William St Clair to pastedown of vol. 1, ink marginal note to p. 81 of vol. 2.


Lockhart's early epistolary novel 'one of the most important chronicles of early nineteenth-century life in Scotland' (ODNB), which includes sharp observations of the notables of society in contemporary Edinburgh and Glasgow. A number of steps were taken to obfuscate its origin: despite the subtitle, this is the first edition (a reprint later in 1819 was designated the third) and its putative author, the elderly Welsh physician Peter Morris, was entirely fictitious, as are Morris's other works advertised on the leaf to the rear of volume 3. The plates are by W. Lizars, with the frontispiece 'engraved in alto relievo', Lizars' new method, 'a copperplate engraving so treated as to print at the common printing-press' (Brydall, Art in Scotland, 1889 p.210).

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