(Edinburgh: Printed for Peter Hill, et al. 1807). 197 x 114 mm. (7 3/4 x 4 1/2"). 2 p.l., [v]-viii, 244 pp. FIRST EDITION.
PUBLISHER'S ORIGINAL BLUE BOARDS, paper label on spine, edges untrimmed. In a felt-lined, morocco-backed folding box. Four engraved plates (three views and a city plan). Front free endpaper inscribed, "Edin. 27th April 1807 / Agnes Cockburn / in memory / of the author." Donovan & Murdoch 270. Boards a little soiled, front joint cracked (rear joint starting at tail), extremities with the expected considerable wear, spine label chipped (with a fourth of the letters gone), but the boards still attached, and the extremely insubstantial publisher's binding still appealing because of its original materials. Title page with a bit of offsetting from frontispiece, isolated minor foxing in text, other trivial imperfections, but an excellent copy internally, the untrimmed leaves bright, fresh, and clean, with all of their ample margins intact.
This is an invaluable early book on the history of St. Andrews in general and more specifically on St. Andrews as the home of the game of golf, offered here in the publisher's original boards. Among other things, the final chapter, entitled "The Company of Golfers," gives a short history of golf, provides "an idea of the nature of this elegant amusement," and describes how the earliest golf balls (called "featheries" on account of their stuffing) were made. The inscription at the front, done in the year of publication, suggests that the author has died, but we have been unable to find out anything about him beyond what can be inferred from the book. He may have been (or wanted to be) well connected: the volume is dedicated to Lady Elizabeth Moncreiffe, who must have been Lady Elizabeth Ramsay, daughter of the earl of Dalhousie, wife to Sir Thomas Moncreiffe, and a woman of considerable wealth (who died in 1848 when her dress caught fire). (ST12145)
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PJP Catalog: ABA1stSept20.012