(BINDINGS). POLLOK, ROBERT.
THE COURSE OF TIME: A POEM, IN TEN BOOKS.(Edinburgh: William Blackwood, and London: T. Cadell, 1833). 168 x 114 mm (6 5/8 x 4 1/2"). 2 p.l., 394 pp.
CHARMING EARLY 20TH CENTURY SKY-BLUE CRUSHED MOROCCO, ONLAID AND GILT, front cover with onlaid red morocco border flanked and decorated with gilt, this border expanding into wedge-shaped cornerpieces featuring a stylized gilt rosebud with curling gilt stems and onlaid green morocco leaves (their veins delicately traced with gilt), the border enclosing a large center panel featuring a prominent round centerpiece of onlaid red morocco containing the same gilt rosebuds and green morocco leaves found in the corners (but here seen in a graceful interlacing form), back cover repeating the same design, but entirely in gilt; raised bands, heavily gilt spine with the rose and leaf patterns repeating, wide turn-ins with three gilt fillets, all edges gilt. Top of spine with very shallow piece of leather lost across approximately half its width, a hint of soiling to covers, spine uniformly sunned to a pleasing blue-green, otherwise fine, the quite pretty binding with virtually no wear to the joints or hinges, and with only trivial problems internally.
This is an attractively bound edition of a poem on a vast scale, ranging from Creation to Armageddon, heaven to hell, a work that enjoyed a great vogue during the 19th century. (It was first published in 1827; our title page calls this the 12th edition.) From a family of humble Scottish farmers, the poet Robert Pollok (1798-1827) determined to become a minister, but at university in Glasgow, he came under the spell of Byron's "Darkness." Our poem was composed during the last two years of Pollok's life; he died of consumption, which the author of the preface to another edition of this work attributed to too great a zeal for study, saying that "his books were literally his executioners." Ours is almost certainly an amateur binding, but the level of achievement is really quite impressive. (ST11421)