Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    [Jonathan Swift] Walter Scott Autograph Letter Signed. One page, penned on recto only, 7.75" x 9.75", June 28, 1808. Prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet Walter Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. Here, Scott writes to an unidentified correspondent regarding the purchase of Jonathan Swift's first major work, A Tale of a Tub. Letter reads, in part: "I... esteem it a favour that you have the politeness to give me the Refusal of the Tale of a Tub with Bently's notes. The price is somewhat high for one not in the habit of buying books as curiosities, But my personal engagements with Swift's work prevents my hesitating at the price. Will you be so good to send the volume down by the Edinburgh mail coach properly packed and... addressed to me 'Castle Street Edinburgh..." Signed "Walter Scott."

    Scott's "personal engagements with Swift's work" refers to Scott's voluminous study chronicling The Works of Jonathan Swift... with Notes and a Life of the Author. A Tale of a Tub, published in 1704, was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift. Swift, himself a cleric, sought to create a satirical allegory of religious excesses. His Tale is the story of three brothers, each representing a branch of Christianity. Using literary device, Swift includes commentary on such diverse topics as literature, politics, theology and medicine, making this his most difficult and ambitious project. Despite the popularity of the work, it made Swift a notorious figure and hampered his advancement in the Catholic Church.

    Scott published an annotated edition of Swift's works in 19 volumes in 1814, and it was republished in 1824. Dated 1808, this letter evidences Scott's early interest in Swift's writing. Letter is lightly toned with occasional fading of ink. Previous mounting traces along left edge. Accompanied by a 6" x 8.75" engraving of Scott which is affixed to a larger sheet measuring 10.5" x 13.75".


    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 610

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 27 Domain Names Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $621,865