Dear Friend,

We're delighted to be exhibiting at the long-awaited Edinburgh Book Fair at the end of this week - and to unveil our new website.

The best-selling eighteenth century Scottish poet and author of 'The Grave', Robert Blair, began writing our star manuscript a week before his 20th birthday. A lovely thing in itself, bound in Scottish herringbone-style, Blair's poems and meditative text add substantially to the known corpus of his works.

The little town of Haddington where Blair ministered for 15 years (just east of his native Edinburgh) also produced Ebenezer Black, the army surgeon whose Napoleonic wartime journal is returning to Scotland this week. A near contemporary from the Scottish lowlands, George Blake went south to work in the 'mercantile line' in Liverpool. His letter-book (1784-1840) is shot through with references to the slave trade, and his mother's lament that ‘Religion is fast declining in Scotland'.

In addition there are signed books from the Glaswegian physicist Lord Kelvin (to his sister), Sir John Reith (founder of the BBC in the corporation's centenary year) and the screenplay of an unmade, animated, musical (yes!) film adaptation of Treasure Island. To close, we're thrilled to offer the autograph manuscript of a memoir about Papa Stour in the Shetlands, complete with supportive correspondence from Sir John Betjeman who helped get the book published.

Do get in touch if you'd like more information about any of these.

Best wishes,

Christian White


00 44 (0) 7811 455398/ 00 44 (0) 1943 608596
287 Leeds Road, Ilkley, Leeds, LS29 8LL, UK

Autograph Manuscript of Poems & Meditations by the Author of ‘The Grave’ — Robert Blair — 1719

Previously unrecorded manuscript by the best-selling 18th century Scottish author of The Grave which adds substantially to the known corpus of his writings. Attractively bound in contemporary black goatskin in a Scottish herringbone style with gilt panels to both boards, thistle ornaments and a device that suggests a pentecostal dove; all edges gilt. Small octavo-size manuscript (15x9.5cm) marbled endpapers, manuscript leaves with horizontal chain lines, no apparent watermark. Preceding Blair’s…… Read more


Scottish Surgeon’s Journal of Service in Italy & Spain during the Napoleonic Wars 1806-1815 — Ebenezer Black, Surgeon of Haddington — 1806

Unpublished Napoleonic wartime journal of a Scottish military surgeon who served in Sicily and then under Wellington in Spain, culminating in the Siege of Tarragona. Small quarto, bound in parchment with external straps, sides covered in printed paper. Written in ink to the spine: ‘Journal Vol. 1’ with scrolling below. Front pastedown, partially obscured by a paper repair to inner hinge where Black has written: ‘Ex Libris Eb.r Black Missen[?]’ A twentieth century owner has inserted two sections…… Read more


Grahame of Claverhouse Viscount Dundee — Michael Barrington — 1911

A royal presentation copy, No 14 of 50 copies bound in full vellum with top edge gilt. Inscribed on the flyleaf: ‘To H.R.H. Princess Louise Duchess of Argyll this life of Claverhouse is by gracious permission presented with the author’s homage. December 6th. 1911’. Bookplate of ‘John Darby’ opposite. Further signed on the limitation page. Some browning to text, otherwise a very good copy of a handsomely produced book. John Grahame of Claverhouse became known as ‘Bloudy Clavers’ after his role in…… Read more


Scottish emigre and Liverpool Sugar Merchant’s Manuscript Letter-Book, 1784-1840 — George Blake; David Welsh — 1784

An eighteenth century Scottish emigre and Liverpool sugar merchant’s manuscript letter-book with significant references to the slave trade. Eighteenth century manuscript binding of half calf over faded marbled boards, spine rubbed and dried, wear to corners and outer hinges but the binding remains sound, boards securely attached. This small quarto manuscript book book compiled by George Blake contains 17 original letters sent to Blake during the 1780s and a further 71 copy letters, mostly in Bla…… Read more


Album of Mrs L A Czarnecki [Scottish woman poet] — Louisa Agnes Czarnecki — 1861

Politically engaged poetry protesting at ‘Russian atrocities’ and celebrating Garibaldi’s triumph in Italy by a Scottish woman poet married to a Polish exile in Scotland, Arthur Antoine Czarnecki. Louisa Czarnecki’s album (25x30cm) is bound in red crushed morocco with gilt decoration and lettering to the upper board; lower board sympathetically replaced; additional cloth strengthening to the inner hinges. Yellow coated endpapers, 56 album pages with tissue overlays. The album includes manuscript…… Read more


Scots Law [1790s Edinburgh Manuscript] — David Monro Binning (1776-1834) — 1797

Legal manuscript student notes from the University of Edinburgh in the 1790s. Octavo bound in original marbled covered boards (13.5x21cm), neatly rebacked using the original spine label: ‘Scots Law’. David Monro Binning’s ownership signature appears on the first pastedown as ‘D. Monro Binning’ - he took on the surname Binning in 1796 after inheriting the property of Wester Softlaw near Kelso. He has written the date ‘8 Feb 1797’ on the verso of the final leaf of manuscript but there are also ref…… Read more


The Edinburgh Musical Festival — Edinburgh Musical Festival — 1843

Rare set of six bound programmes for the 1843 Edinburgh music festival. Bound in contemporary cloth with gilt lettering and design to upper board; split cloth along spine with amateur repair though the binding remains sound, staining to the black cloth. The six volumes are bound together here, beginning with the First Performance on Monday 9th October, and concluding on Saturday October 14th: these collate: [8], 16 ; [8], 16; [8], 12 ; [8], 16; [8], 16, [8] 12 as per the National Library of Scot…… Read more


Eighteenth Century Letters to a Scottish Nobleman & Governor of Edinburgh Castle — [John Campbell, 4th Earl Loudoun] David Cunninghame, James Campbell etc — 1753

Eight letters and a printed certificate from the War Office sent to the 4th Earl Loudoun who served as British commander-in-chief in America during the Seven Years War and became Governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1763. John Campbell (1705-1782) commanded British forces in the American colonies 1756-1758 where he was George Washington’s senior commander, later serving as Governor of Edinburgh Castle. Most of the letters survive with conjugate address leaves and remnants of wax seals. On each Loudou…… Read more


Arts and Crafts Photograph Album of the Architect's Home, 'Weir’s Barn' — Robert Weir Schultz [Architect] — 1935

Family photo-album recording the Arts and Crafts Hampshire home and garden built for himself by the Scottish-born architect Robert Weir Schultz who lived there for 50 years. 116 photographs mounted in a commercially produced oblong photo album, 33x25cm, ‘The Beaumont Album’, Johnson London. Bound in deep reddish/black shiny cloth with silk ties through the spine. Bookseller’s ticket of ‘W E Baxter Lewes’ on the front paste-down. The silver gelatin photographs are in a mixture of formats, early i…… Read more


Treasure Island The Musical: An Animated Feature Motion Picture — Robert Louis Stevenson; Gerald Vaughn-Hughes, George Fenton [Elliot Kasner] — 1968

Autograph manuscript screenplay for an unmade animated musical film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel together with the production archive of the Hollywood film producer Elliott Kastner. Kastner (1930-2010) was a larger than life American film producer, whose best known credits include Where Eagles Dare and The Long Goodbye; this collection documents his attempts over a couple of decades to adapt Treasure Island from the late 1960s into the 1990s. This collection centres on an…… Read more


[Four volumes of Scottish Dance Music] A Collection of Strathspey Reels etc. — Niel Gow at Dunkeld; Malcolm McDonald — 1784

Four separate volumes of Scottish dance music by the violinist and composer Niel Gow and his cellist friend Malcolm McDonald bound together in contemporary half calf over marbled boards. The binding is worn but sound; each imprint shows evidence of stab sewing close to the gutter. These are engraved throughout with clear plate marks to each leaf: *1. A Collection of Strathspey Reels... by Neil Gow, [1784] Edinburgh, Printed by the Author, and sold by Corri and Sutherland, [3] pp36 [1] *2. A Seco…… Read more


Like a Mantle the Sea [Shetland Island Manuscript & Archive] — Stella Shepherd - Dennis Shepherd - John Betjeman — 1971

Autograph manuscript, typescript, corrected proofs and supportive letters from Sir John Betjeman to the author of this memoir of Papa Stour who met her during a visit to the island and helped see the book through to publication. Stella Shepherd and her husband Dennis who illustrated her book moved to Papa Stour in the Shetlands in 1962, to become, respectively, the island’s schoolteacher and a lay Missionary, leaving ‘eight years later, when there were no longer any children of school age left f…… Read more


The Student’s Elements of Geology [Presentation copy with Annotation] — Charles Lyell (Charles J F Bunbury) — 1871

[RESERVED] A presentation copy from Sir Charles Lyell to his friend, travelling companion and relative by marriage, Charles Bunbury, complete with Bunbury’s expert annotation to the text. Small octavo bound in publisher’s green cloth with gilt starfish design to upper cover, recently repaired with the original spine laid down, outer hinges renewed in green cloth and new black coated endpapers inserted. The book has been inscribed on the half title: ‘From the Author’, likely by one of publisher J…… Read more


Nature Series: Popular Lectures and Addresses, Volume I, Constitution of Matter — William Thomson - Lord Kelvin [inscribed to sister] — 1889

Fine presentation copy inscribed by Lord Kelvin on the title page to his devoted sister: ‘Elizabeth King. 24 Hamilton Terrace from her brother W.T. March 2/ 89’. Very smart green publisher’s cloth binding with dark green coated endpapers, clean fresh text throughout, pp460 plus 2 pages of adverts at the end, illustrated throughout. Elizabeth Thomson King (1818-1896) wrote a memoir of her famous brother which was published after his death. When he gave her this presentation copy she was living at…… Read more


Miscellaneous Extracts [Commonplace Book] — Donald McKay — 1848

700 page small format commonplace book written by ‘Donald McKay’ in the Highlands of Scotland. Half black morocco over green textured cloth, all edges marbled; the author’s black morocco label to the front pastedown. The text contains a mixture of medical cures - for advanced gonorrhea and other ailments - music and lyrics, a legal contract at Skibo from 1839, poems in English and Gaelic and an essay ‘Of the Barometer’.


Chamber Dramas for Children by Mrs George Macdonald — Louisa Powell Macdonald — 1870

Unaccountably scarce collection of plays written by Louisa Macdonald, wife of the fantasy writer George Macdonald. Publisher’s attractive brown cloth with gilt and red decoration, rubbed to edges, 3cm slit to the cloth covering the outer hinge between spine and lower board; binding remains sound. Black coated endpapers; ornament by Arthur Hughes to the half-title. Handsomely printed in black by the Chiswick Press, with red panels framing the text. Louisa Macdonald (1822-1902) was in charge of fa…… Read more


Broadcast over Britain [signed] — Sir John C W Reith — 1924

Offered in the BBC’s centenary year - with the Aberdonian BBC founding Director General Sir John Reith’s signature tipped in. Publisher's blue cloth lettered in gilt to the spine, formerly the property of the Cunard Shipping Company with their gilt stamp to the middle of the front board. Blind stamp of the Circulating Library of Harrods Limited on the rear paste-down with 2 stamped dates. Very good plus book in similar jacket. This is one of the earliest published accounts of the genesis of what…… Read more


Swing Hammer Swing! [inscribed to Alasdair Gray] — Jeff Torrington — 1992

An excellent association copy inscribed by one eminent Scottish writer to another and annotated by the recipient, Alasdair Gray. Bound in the publisher’s illustrated card wrappers, about very good and inscribed on the first endpaper: ‘With fondest regards, Jeff Torrington 10-8-92’. Gray seems to have read the first two thirds of the book enthusiastically, leaving fold marks on the spine and a damp stain across the top half of the first few dozen pages. Chapter 18 is annotated with Gray objecting…… Read more


A Speech to Scottish Veterans delivered in Wishaw by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig — Field Marshal Douglas Haig — 1925

Stirring 1925 manuscript speech to Scottish veterans made by Britain's commander on the western front in which he urged Scotland's soldiers to look after each other in peacetime - 'the hardest battle of their lives' - even as they readied themselves for the moment 'when storm and peril once more threaten our beloved country, men such as they, may one again be found to stand and fight for Scotland and true Liberty.' The speech was delivered on 7th November 1925 at the opening of a Scottish Ex-Ser…… Read more


Articles of the Treaty of Union Agreed on by the Commissioners of both Kingdoms on the 22d of July 1706 — Lords Commissioners — 1706

London edition of Andrew Anderson's Edinburgh printing of the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England. Modern quarter grey linen over marbled boards with a morocco label to the upper board; circular brownish mark over the imprint on the title page which continues through a couple of leaves; text block asymmetrically hand-trimmed. In this state of the text there is a colon after the date on the title page and no price at the foot of the page. The details of the Treaty were agreed on 22 July…… Read more


‘With thanks for the inspiration’ 44 Books from Alasdair Gray’s Library — Alasdair Gray [etc] — 2000

‘In admiration...’ a collection of 44 books inscribed to Alasdair Gray by friends, family and, mostly, fellow writers, including a gift from Liz Lochhead, several books about Glasgow, and Gray’s own copy of a work that came out of his Creative Writing teaching at Glasgow University. There are 15 inscribed volumes of poetry, among them Gray’s own copy of The Knuckle End, a ‘meaty collection of the best new writing in Scotland’. Gray has taped the two volumes together for convenient reading and wh…… Read more


Recueil des Lettres de Madame La Marquise de Sevigne — Marquise de Sevigne - Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sevigny — 1780

‘Kinnaird’ copy of the Nouvelle edition bound in very pretty Scottish, polished calf with circular black morocco volume numbers and red morocco lettering pieces to the spine. Bookplate of 'Kinnaird' to each volume: George Kinnaird was a Scottish banker and art collector whose collection was boosted by the dispersal of the Orleans collection in 1792. Contemporary shelf-marks to the bookplate and a note on the pastedown in the first volume which records the original cost of the set. A most attract…… Read more


Dr. Christian White
Christian White Rare Books
287 Leeds Road, Ilkley, LS29 8LL
07811 455398