3 March 2004
CARLYLE, Thomas (1795-1881) -- SCOTT, William Bell (1811-1890). Chorea sancti viti; or, Steps in the Journey of Prince Legion. London: George Bell, 1851.
4° (285 x 186mm). Title and preface in black, sepia and blue. 12 etched plates by and after Scott. (Some staining at lower margins.) Original printed limp boards (rebacked, inner hinges split). Provenance: presentation copy from the artist to Carlyle (front pastedown inscribed 'Thomas Carlyle Esqr. with the Artist's Compliments'; front cover inscribed 'Miss Helen Welsh T.C. (Chelsea) 1 July 1851) -- purchased from Elkin Matthews, London, 20 March 1939, £1 16s.
PRESENTATION COPY TO CARLYLE. The Chorea sancti viti and William Blake: Etchings from his work by W.B. Scott (1878) were Scott's principal published designs. The present work was printed by George Bouchier Richardson at Newcastle-upon-Tyne where Scott worked for twenty years organising art schools in the north, and actively involving himself in the fields of both art and poetry. This copy contains an issue of The Christian Socialist, vol. II, no. 55, November 15, 1851, presumably inserted by one of the Carlyles. In his memoirs, Scott described Carlyle as having a home in Chelsea that 'was not very exhilerating; his book shelves were largely filled with the Annual Register, and nothing but common ugly portaits were on the walls' (I, p. 270). Carlyle was 'the gruffest and most ungenial of all mortals, yet also a 'redoubtable friend and fellow Scotsman ... one of the intellectual potenates of the age and of all time' (II, p. 20).
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