Glasgow: David Bryce & Son, Post-1882. George Cruikshank. First Scottish Edition? Wrappers. Small 8vo (7 11/16" x 5 3/4" / 13 x 10 cm); wrappers with engraving by Cruikshank on cover (red [binder's?] tape as spine); 11 copper-engraved plates by George Cruikshank (frontispiece plate is of the music manuscript); "History of the Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman from the Life of George Cruikshank by Blanchard Jerrold ; [viii]+-40, or 48 numbered pages. Good +. Item #447
Supposedly soon after hearing and being delighted by this popular and anonymous ditty, the great caricaturist, George Cruikshank, "performed" it for his close friend Charles Dickens. The latter was equally bemused by the ballad and encouraged his associate to illustrate it, and thus it was published with charming copper-plate illustrations.
Rare First (?) Scottish edition with correction of "wine" to "vine" in the fifth stanza. Ad for T.H-Smith's Essence of Coffee with Chicory on back wrapper.
Pages [viii]+-40, paged on outer corners throughout; yellow-green vertically fine-ribbed cloth over flexible boards, cut flush, blocked and lettered gilt, lettered yellow-green-through-gilt on front board; end-papers coated pale yellow.
Insignificant faded patch to covers, not affecting design; front free end-paper lacking; otherwise a nice copy. Includes a six-line P.S. by Cruikshank followed by his wood-engraved signature, declaring that he did not in fact write the introductory ‘Warning to the Public’ which appears over his printed signature above.
The original verse - or at least the idea of it - is almost certainly by Thackeray (a scrap-book being known containing a piece called “The Famous History of Lord Bateman”, partly in his hand and with illustrations by him), whilst the ‘Warning’ and the ten pages of notes are on the authority of J.F. Dexter, quoting statements made to him on three separate occasions by Cruikshank, the work of Dickens. This is corroborated by the text of a letter from Dickens to Cruikshank.
It is likely that Thackeray wrote the text, while Dickens prepared the notes and Preface. Compare Yale/Gimbel B84. The first London edition was published by Charles Tilt in 1839.
Internally somewhat age-toned but without foxing. Plates are in VG or better condition.
This copy has been secured years ago by red binder's tape for its spine, which has caused slight bleed through along the inner margins of the covers. The latter also suffers from water-staining (outside the engraving by Cruikshank) and chaffing of the extremities (especially the lower right corner, which has abraided).
Notwithstanding the slight external red stain, the contents are clear, bright, and the binding is holding well.