[Sir W. SCOTT & others] Northern Antiquities 1814
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[Sir Walter SCOTT, Henry William WEBER, Dr. Robert JAMIESON]. Illustrations of Northern Antiquities Being an Abstract of the Book of Heroes, and Nibelungen Lay; with Translations of Metrical Tales From the Old German, Danish, Swedish, and Icelandic Languages with Notes and Dissertations.
Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne, for Longman [etc.] of London and John Ballantyne & Co. of Edimburgh, 1814. Large quarto (11 ¾ x 9 ¼ in; 298 x 235mm). Pp. [i-]vi-ix[-x, 1-]4-522 plus final blank. (Somewhat toned, some spotting to front and rear). Contemporary red/brown half morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, spine gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges to book block (rubbed and scuffed, some splits to joints but still quite securely attached).
Provenance: John Van Buren (1810-1866, inscription ‘John Van Buren / New York / 1853’, son of President Martin Van Buren).
Interesting provenance: from the library of John Van Buren ‘one of the ablest, best, and most attractive men this country has produced’ (P.F. Miller. A group of great lawyers of Columbia County, New York: 1904, p.196).
This attractive work is an early attempt to translate and explain the northern European sagas and romances: Walter Scott’s contribution is an ‘Abstract of the Eyrbiggia-Saga’ from Iceland. Henry Weber (1783-1818) was Scott’s literary assistant, but ‘After Christmas 1813 a fit of madness seized Weber at dusk, at the close of a day's work in the same room with his employer. He produced a pair of pistols, and challenged Scott to mortal combat. A parley ensued, and Weber dined with the Scotts; next day he was put under restraint. His friends, with some assistance from Scott, supported him, "a hopeless lunatic," in an asylum at York. There he died in June 1818.’ (wikipedia). For some information on Dr. Jamieson (1780? – 1844) see https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1849&context=ssl.