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SCOTT, Sir WALTER. Fourteen autograph letters signed (mostly "Walter Scott") TO HIS PUBLISHERS, the firm of Longman and Rees, et al., in London (most to Thomas N. Longman or Owen Rees); nearly all written from Edinburgh or Ashetiel, 27 December 1803 - 6 June [1812]. Together 28 pages, 8vo & 4to (mainly 4to), one letter silked and with a margin badly dampstained and frayed partially injuring a few words, two others with a margin a bit dampstained and frayed affecting a few letters, four others with lesser defects but with a few words touched and a few letters injured, eight of the letters with integral address leaves (one torn, others with seal tears), most docketed, with typed transcripts. [With] (1) An autograph letter signed ("W Scott") from Scott to George Craig, Abbotsford, 12 July [1827], 1 page, 4to, integral address leaf, mainly regarding payment for various bills (including one for "the Railroad survey" assessment); (2) Engraved portrait of Scott, after the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, New York: Johnson, Wilson, n.d., 4to. "THE 'LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL' IS GOING ON..." An excellent correspondence to one of Scott's first publishers dealing primarily and in detail with literary, editorial, and publishing matters. 27 December 1803: "I have been prevented by a variety of engagements from completing and forwarding the Reviews of [Joseph] Ritson's Ancient Engleish Metrical Romances and Bibliotheca Poetica [both 1802] and of Rose and Southey's Amadis which I now forward hoping they may still be in time for your annual Review...I am certainly very willing to superintend the publication of Ritson Scottish poets...It will be necessary to omit all mention of living authors, many of whom were introduced for the mere gratification of poor Ritson's whim...It will also be essentially requisite to translate Ritson's language into modern spelling. For all which I should be afraid of being haunted by the ghost of the deceased Antiquary [Ritson had died in 1803]...His [Ritson's] notes on Shakespeare must be curious. I am satisfied a handsome edition might be published to contain all that is valuable in the late edition of [Isaac] Reed and much more on a reduced scale of expense. Should you think of such a thing when times will admit I can furnish you with some curious original notes..." 18 June 1804:"...The Lay of the Last Minstrel is going on and Ballantyne [his Edinburgh printer] is doing it the greatest justice in the printing -- it is in the style of [Thomas] Campbell's Pleasure of Hope 4to..." [Scott's poem was published at the beginning of 1805 jointly by the Longman firm and Constable] 12 January 1807 (an important letter entirely concerning negotiations for the publishing of Marmion): "I have a letter from your house today from which I fear my former letter has not been sufficiently explicit on a very important point concerning the publication of my new poem...I had not the most distant intention of leaving any opening for discarding Constable & Co from the share in my literary attempts which they have always held -- on the contrary I mentioned my having adjusted the offer with Mr. Constable on the footing of his having the same share as in the Minstrelsy and Lay [of the Last Minstrel]. I have had many hints both before and since I began my poem that my copy money might be reaised by changing my publishers...I think I should act unhandsomely by my old friends Longman and Co were I to hawk about for the highest offer. The same argument applies to Messers Constable & Co...it [is] as a thing perfectly understood that Constable & Co were to be upon the same footing as to my new poem on which they have stood as to all the others. If this shall be so extremely unpleasant to you as to be the means of breaking off our bargain I must deeply regret it..." 27 January 1807 (another important letter entirely regarding who would be publishing Marmion): "I have your favour and I am truly sorry to see that you are disposed to consider the continuation of the connection with Constable & Co as an absolute bar to your accepting of my new work...the unfortunate disagreement between the [two publishing] houses has not prevented your names standing together upon the Lay and on the Edinburgh Review...I beg to assure you that I am neither actuated in this matter by caprice or obstinacy but feel that by giving up this point I would sanction a severe treatment of a house [Constable] who have been very useful to Scottish Literature...I regret (perhaps with more reason than you) that anything should happen to interrupt the connection which has so long subsisted between us with mutual satisfaction..." 3 February 1807 (a third letter on the subject): "...As your former letter left me not the slightest hopes of renewing our negotiation...very shortly after writing to you I was under the necessary of taking other measures for the publication of my new poem in the course of which...Constable & Company became the purchasers upon the same terms which I offered to you...I am truly sorry this business has not been accomodated in a different manner..." 28 February 1810 (mostly about the publication of The Lady of the Lake): "John Ballantyne [the printer] has told me how you stand about the engravings to The Lady of the Lake [published in May 1810 by Longman et al in London and James Ballantyne in Edinburgh]. I will do all I can to give you a start but in the first place I wish the book to come out without any embellishments whatever [the published book was not illustrated] because although a separate publication yet they do lessen the value of unembellished copies and discontent those who do not choose to go to the full price. Besides I cannot for many reasons trust the poem in the hands of any one till it (I meant the text) is all thrown off. I may have occasion to make cancels and I do not choose to stand on record with poetical amateurs which you know artists always are..." 30 June [1810]: Scott begins by listing 15 books he asks Owen Rees to order for him from a Lackington catalogue, and continues: "...Probably a good number of these are off but I will be much obliged to you to get me the remainder. I am much encouraged to such an expensive order by the sale of The Lady of the Lake which has far exceded my sanguine expectations. I will hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in Scotland this summer. On the 12th I set off for the Highlands or rather the Hebrides..." (16)

Details
SCOTT, Sir WALTER. Fourteen autograph letters signed (mostly "Walter Scott") TO HIS PUBLISHERS, the firm of Longman and Rees, et al., in London (most to Thomas N. Longman or Owen Rees); nearly all written from Edinburgh or Ashetiel, 27 December 1803 - 6 June [1812]. Together 28 pages, 8vo & 4to (mainly 4to), one letter silked and with a margin badly dampstained and frayed partially injuring a few words, two others with a margin a bit dampstained and frayed affecting a few letters, four others with lesser defects but with a few words touched and a few letters injured, eight of the letters with integral address leaves (one torn, others with seal tears), most docketed, with typed transcripts. [With] (1) An autograph letter signed ("W Scott") from Scott to George Craig, Abbotsford, 12 July [1827], 1 page, 4to, integral address leaf, mainly regarding payment for various bills (including one for "the Railroad survey" assessment); (2) Engraved portrait of Scott, after the portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, New York: Johnson, Wilson, n.d., 4to.

"THE 'LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL' IS GOING ON..."

An excellent correspondence to one of Scott's first publishers dealing primarily and in detail with literary, editorial, and publishing matters. 27 December 1803: "I have been prevented by a variety of engagements from completing and forwarding the Reviews of [Joseph] Ritson's Ancient Engleish Metrical Romances and Bibliotheca Poetica [both 1802] and of Rose and Southey's Amadis which I now forward hoping they may still be in time for your annual Review...I am certainly very willing to superintend the publication of Ritson Scottish poets...It will be necessary to omit all mention of living authors, many of whom were introduced for the mere gratification of poor Ritson's whim...It will also be essentially requisite to translate Ritson's language into modern spelling. For all which I should be afraid of being haunted by the ghost of the deceased Antiquary [Ritson had died in 1803]...His [Ritson's] notes on Shakespeare must be curious. I am satisfied a handsome edition might be published to contain all that is valuable in the late edition of [Isaac] Reed and much more on a reduced scale of expense. Should you think of such a thing when times will admit I can furnish you with some curious original notes..." 18 June 1804:"...The Lay of the Last Minstrel is going on and Ballantyne [his Edinburgh printer] is doing it the greatest justice in the printing -- it is in the style of [Thomas] Campbell's Pleasure of Hope 4to..." [Scott's poem was published at the beginning of 1805 jointly by the Longman firm and Constable]

12 January 1807 (an important letter entirely concerning negotiations for the publishing of Marmion): "I have a letter from your house today from which I fear my former letter has not been sufficiently explicit on a very important point concerning the publication of my new poem...I had not the most distant intention of leaving any opening for discarding Constable & Co from the share in my literary attempts which they have always held -- on the contrary I mentioned my having adjusted the offer with Mr. Constable on the footing of his having the same share as in the Minstrelsy and Lay [of the Last Minstrel]. I have had many hints both before and since I began my poem that my copy money might be reaised by changing my publishers...I think I should act unhandsomely by my old friends Longman and Co were I to hawk about for the highest offer. The same argument applies to Messers Constable & Co...it [is] as a thing perfectly understood that Constable & Co were to be upon the same footing as to my new poem on which they have stood as to all the others. If this shall be so extremely unpleasant to you as to be the means of breaking off our bargain I must deeply regret it..." 27 January 1807 (another important letter entirely regarding who would be publishing Marmion): "I have your favour and I am truly sorry to see that you are disposed to consider the continuation of the connection with Constable & Co as an absolute bar to your accepting of my new work...the unfortunate disagreement between the [two publishing] houses has not prevented your names standing together upon the Lay and on the Edinburgh Review...I beg to assure you that I am neither actuated in this matter by caprice or obstinacy but feel that by giving up this point I would sanction a severe treatment of a house [Constable] who have been very useful to Scottish Literature...I regret (perhaps with more reason than you) that anything should happen to interrupt the connection which has so long subsisted between us with mutual satisfaction..." 3 February 1807 (a third letter on the subject): "...As your former letter left me not the slightest hopes of renewing our negotiation...very shortly after writing to you I was under the necessary of taking other measures for the publication of my new poem in the course of which...Constable & Company became the purchasers upon the same terms which I offered to you...I am truly sorry this business has not been accomodated in a different manner..."

28 February 1810 (mostly about the publication of The Lady of the Lake): "John Ballantyne [the printer] has told me how you stand about the engravings to The Lady of the Lake [published in May 1810 by Longman et al in London and James Ballantyne in Edinburgh]. I will do all I can to give you a start but in the first place I wish the book to come out without any embellishments whatever [the published book was not illustrated] because although a separate publication yet they do lessen the value of unembellished copies and discontent those who do not choose to go to the full price. Besides I cannot for many reasons trust the poem in the hands of any one till it (I meant the text) is all thrown off. I may have occasion to make cancels and I do not choose to stand on record with poetical amateurs which you know artists always are..." 30 June [1810]: Scott begins by listing 15 books he asks Owen Rees to order for him from a Lackington catalogue, and continues: "...Probably a good number of these are off but I will be much obliged to you to get me the remainder. I am much encouraged to such an expensive order by the sale of The Lady of the Lake which has far exceded my sanguine expectations. I will hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in Scotland this summer. On the 12th I set off for the Highlands or rather the Hebrides..." (16)
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