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Finlay, John.

SCOTTISH HISTORICAL AND ROMANTIC BALLADS, Chiefly Ancient; with Explanatory Notes and a Glossary.

2 Volumes. James Ballantyne & Co: Edinburgh 1808. 8 x 5.5", original boards, 180; 205pp, covers very well worn, rubbed, soiled, corner bumped, worn, creased, spine torn, peeling & missing a section on vol. 2, spine tips bumped & torn, extremities worn, inner hinges cracked, vol. 1almost detached at rear, bookplates, pencil signature on tps, spotting, soiling, smudgind, text blocks cracked, loose signatures, creasing. The armorial bookplates are those of Sir Claud Alexander of Mallochmyle (House) in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Ballochmyle House & lands were purchased in the 1780s by Sir Claud, a wealthy nabob from India (his crest is surmounted by an elephant) from its impoverished owner, Sir John Whitefoord. Living with Claud on the estate was his sister Miss Wilhelmina (sometimes spelled Williamina) Alexander. One day when Miss Alexander was out walking, she encountered a trespasser who so starled her that she ran back to the mansion. The trespasser was Robert Burns, the poet. Five months later, in a letter dated November 18, 1786, he mentions seeing her and that he wrote a poem to commemorate the occasion. He enclosed the poem, entitled "The Bonni Lass O"Ballochmyle", and requested her permission to publish it in an upcoming collection. She never replied to his letter, but retained the poem and boasted of her connection to Burns until her death at the age of 88, still unmarried. Burns was so angered at the turn of events that he responded by bad-mouthing the family with this comment: "When Fate swore that their purse(s) should be full, Nature was equally positive that their heads should be empty." The pencil names on the title pages are that of "Cl Alexander". FIRST EDITION. NICE ASSOCIATION PIECE.


Book Id: 96-3537

Price: $750.00

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