The Ever Green, being a Collection of Scots Poems, Wrote by the Ingenious before 1600. Published by Allan Ramsay.

  • Ramsay, Allan
  • Edinburgh: Printed by Mr. Thomas Ruddiman for the Publisher 1724
  • ESTC T143032; Case 330; Burns Martin 75.


SKU: 3938 Category: Tags: ,


FIRST EDITION, 2 vols., small 8vo, pp. xii, 272; [ii], 288. Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine gilt in compartments, third compartments numbered in gilt direct. Some toning and spotting. Rubbed, a little worn at extremities, head of spine of vol. 1 defective and of vol. 2 chipped, joints cracking but sound, pastedowns lifted and vol. 1 endpapers partially excised. Ownership inscriptions of John Boyd dated 1750 in several places, bookplates of the Baggrave Library to inside front boards, an accounting in an early hand to rear endpapers of vol. 1.


An unsophisticated copy of the first edition of Ramsay's important collection of early Scots verse, following the success of his 'Tea-table miscellany'. Ramsay was a a boldly interventionist editor, 'freely altering his material for an eighteenth-century audience, in particular changing versification and spelling... He altered William Dunbar's 'Lament for the Makaris' in order to include a prophecy of himself, and included poems of modern composition. Of these, one—'The Vision'—purported to be a medieval dream vision in which the narrator saw Scotland restored through the wars of independence; in fact it was yet another piece of anti-Union Jacobitism by Ramsay himself' (ODNB).
The binding is likely not just contemporary but done for Ramsay's own bookshop - though the tools are slightly different, the style and materials are identical to that of other Ramsay publications of similar period and it seems probable that Ramsay sold his books ready-bound.

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