DENHAM, Michael Aislabie. The Denham Tracts. Published for the Folklore Society by David Nutt, London, 1892 & 1895.
2 vols. 8vo. Original maroon cloth ruled in black with gilt monogram of the Folklore Society; pp.xii, 368; pp. xii, 196; occasional mild foxing but still an exceptional copy with clean, bright covers and the bookplate of Thomas Wyatt Bagshaw to front pastedown endpapers.
First edition thus. The Denham Tracts are the life's work of Michael Aislabe Denham, a folklore enthusiast who traveled the north of England collecting rhymes, curses, magics, monsters and superstitions. Denham originally published his scattered findings in limited edition pamphlets which are vanishingly rare, and only survive due to this reprint of the tracts by the Folklore Society, who reissued it in two volumes for ease of use. Denham was something of a pioneer in this field, and died long before it became fashionable to be interested in folk magic. The tracts mention all kinds of fascinating lore, including devils and doppel-gangers, warlocks and wassail bowls, bogie and banshees, in addition to the first recorded instance of the word "hobbit", originally thought to have been coined by Tolkien.
Due to the sickness of Dr James Hardy (who was responsible for editing and re-releasing the tracts) the second volume was released in 1895, three years after the first volume.