October 2005 - Rare Books acquisitions

Here is a small sample of books recently acquired by Rare Book Collections at the National Library of Scotland.

Detail from speech by James VI and I
Detail from speech by
James VI and I

This is the beginning of the 'The Kings Maiesties speech'. James VI and I delivered this speech to the House of Lords on 19 March 1604, the first day of the first Parliament of his reign as King of Scotland and England. The text was issued by the printer Robert Barker in both italic and in roman type. There was probably such a high demand for copies that Barker had to print on two presses at the same time and used different fonts for the sake of variety.


Book cover detail
Cover detail
from Scott's
'Poetical works'

This is a copy of Sir Walter Scott's 'Poetical works' of 1882 in a fine Scottish publisher's binding. It is bound in red cloth and has the arms of Sir Walter Scott stamped in gilt on the front board. The black and gold decoration is striking; it includes Scott's initials at the upper right of the front board, and at the foot of the board are various flowers and moths. The Library also has a copy of the text in a plain leather binding of polished calf.


Bonnie Prince Charlie
Portrait of
Bonnie Prince

This is a frontispiece portrait of Charles Edward Stuart or Bonnie Prince Charlie. It appears in an unrecorded edition of 'The wanderer or surprizing escape', an anonymous work on the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. It is essentially a criticism of the Prince's actions as described in Ralph Griffith's Ascanius, or the Young Adventurer. The portrait is based very closely on that which appeared in Griffith's work, but the author gives a factual and much less dewy-eyed account of the Rebellion.

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