Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft addressed to J. G. Lockhart, Esq. [Bound with] Twelve Sketches - Sir Walter Scott, George Cruikshank (illustrator) 1830 - John Murray, London - First Edition Sir Walter Scott’s series of ten letters regarding the origins and practices of witchcraft and demonology, including fortune-telling, mystical cures by charms, priests as wizards or conjurers, and other rituals. Accompanied by the separately published, rather dark but appropriate twelve engraved plates by Cruikshank. In a contemporary binding and with the engraved frontispiece illustration of the House of Major Weir by J. Skene

This collection ‘addressed to Lockhart, his biographer and son-in-law, is ‘notable for both its scope (examining social, cultural, medical and psychological factors in peoples' paranormal experiences) and its clear, rational standpoint. Scott explores the influence of Christianity on evolving views of what is classified as 'witchcraft' or 'evil', and he explains the many (often innocuous) meanings of the word 'witch'. Written with palpable enthusiasm and from a strikingly modern perspective, this volume explores a range of topics including fairies, elves and fortune-telling as well as inquisitions and witch trials.’ -
Oxford University Press.
  ‘In these "Letters upon Demonology and Witchcraft," addressed to his son-in-law, written under the first grasp of death, the old kindliness and good sense, joined to the old charm in story-telling, stand firm yet against every assault; and even in the decay that followed, when the powers were broken of the mind that had breathed, and is still breathing, its own health into the minds of tens of thousands of his countrymen, nothing could break the fine spirit of love and honour that was in him. When the end was very near, and the son-in-law to whom these Letters were addressed found him one morning entirely himself, though in the last extreme of feebleness: his eye was clear and calm every trace of the wild fire of delirium was extinguished: "Lockhart," he said, "I may have but a minute to speak to you. My dear, be a good man be virtuous, be religious be a good man. Nothing else will give you any comfort when you come to lie here."’ - from the introduction to the 1885 edition by Henry Morley.

References: Cohn 731, 188.

Two duodecimo volumes bound into one pp. [4] ix [1] 400; [1 (Title)] [1] followed by 12 engraved plates interleaved with descriptive letterpress.
  In contemporary dark brown mottled calf boards, later matching calf spine, lettered in gilt, with tan morocco label lettered in gilt, boards with triple blind fillet borders, new endpapers.   Condition: Very good, some browning to edges and offsetting from plates, frontispiece lightly soiled, in very good contemporary binding with later calf spine and new endpapers.   Ref: 108771   Price: HK$ 8,000