A Ballad Book. Reprinted With Notes and Ballads from the unpublished MSS. of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Esq. and Sir Walter Scott, Bart. - Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, Sir Walter Scott, David Laing (editor) 1880 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition I think you do me much honour by preserving my scribbles’ writes the colourful and eccentric Sharpe in the tipped in letter that accompanies his finely bound Ballad Book, re-edited by David Laing, with additions from Sharpe's manuscripts, and which he first printed only 30 copies in 1823, although according to Henderson, the majority of the added ballads in 1880 were of more or less questionable authenticity (ODNB). The final portion of the book prints Sir Walter Scott’s commentary on the original poems, and is taken from correspondence between Scott and his friend Sharpe.

Scarce. Illustrated with a colour frontispiece portrait, woodblock engraving plate and headpiece (as used for the original 1823 edition).

A speculative note regarding the letter - As stated in the editor’s introduction (ix) ‘
Mr Sharpe’s own annotated copy’ was carefully followed to produce this work, a copy that was ‘in the possession of Sir James Gibson-Craig’. Gibson-Craig had one of the finest collection of Scottish works ever assembled, and other correspondence from Sharpe to Gibson-Craig did begin with ‘Signor Mio’, leading us to speculate that this letter accompanied the original and rare 1823 printing of which only 30 were produced, and which in this case was later given by Sharpe to Gibson-Craig.
  Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe (1781-1851) was born in May 1781 at Hoddam, Dumfriesshire.
His was a social and intellectual ancestry of some distinction, and his early education was nourished on Jacobite story and tradition. This period of Scottish sentiment was to be the main driver of his artistic studies and research, and as a collector of antiquities. CKS was educated in Edinburgh and then at Christ Church, Oxford, graduating in 1806. In 1803, fired by the appearance of the first volume of '
The Minstrelsy Of The Scottish Border' (1802), CKS had contacted Walter Scott. As a result, he contributed two ballads, one of which was 'The Tower of Repentance', to a later volume of the work as well as comments on the origins of several others, among them 'The Twa Corbies'. CKS is also credited with giving Scott his version of ‘The Douglas Tragedy’ and ‘Bessie Bell and Mary Gray’. It was to be a lifelong friendship. CKS abandoned the idea of entering the Church, and at the age of about 30 left his Oxford base and became a resident of Edinburgh. Here he continued his correspondence, his society life, and his studies in literature, music and the fine arts. He had a deserved reputation for waspish caricatures and satires, and a marked weakness for scandal. In later years, CKS became more of a literary recluse, and his peculiarities, manners and eccentricities – including retaining the style of dress that had been in fashion during his early manhood - more pronounced.

CKS died in March 1851, leaving one of the most extensive collections of antiquities ever accumulated by a private individual in Scotland. Much published material survives him, notably The Ballads; Letters; Etchings; studies in Scottish geneaology; and a history of Scottish witchcraft.’ - Kennedy & Boyd

Provenance: Allan D. Macdonald, with his bookplate. Later of David Fyfe Anderson (1904-88), Scottish surgeon, with his name dated 1950, to bookplate.
Reference: Sharpe, Charles Kirkpatrick. Letters from and to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. Vol 2 548 (1888).

pp. [2] xxiii [1] vii [3] 183 [1] [1 publisher’s advertisement] [3]. Two page ALS tipped in to front.
  Finely bound by Ramage of London, in three quarter navy morocco over marblend boards, spine intricatlye tooled and titled in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, others uncut.   Condition: Near fine, a little minor soiling and spotting to endpapers, in near fine binding with wear to corners, and light uniform fading to spine.   Ref: 107055   Price: HK$ 5,000