BURNS, Robert. Poetical Works of Robert Burns. Alnwick: W. Davison, [n.d., 1808?].
12mo. 2 vols. Twentieth century brown morocco-backed marbled boards, red morocco gilt lettering piece to spines; pp. xlii + 297 +26. xii + 320, wood engravings throughout by Bewick; very good.
First edition. Scarce: "one of Davison's finest and rarest books" (Hugo).
Growing up in rural Scotland, Burns' poetry was influenced by his agricultural background and his sensitivty to the natural world. These themes are beautifully offset by Bewick's woodcuts, themselves profoundly influenced by the artist's trip to Scotland, when, after the completion of his apprenticeship to Ralph Beilby, the owner of an engraving business in Newcastle upon Tyne, he set off on foot on a five hundred-mile tour of the country, a journey he describes in his memoirs as ' a time of great enjoyment'.