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MAXWELL, W.H. Wild Sports of The West. With Legendary Tales, and Local Sketches. Illustrated with five steel engravings and twelve vignettes. Two volumes.
1 in stock
SCARCE FIRST EDITION
London: Richard Bentley, 1832. Octavo. First edition. pp. (1) xvi, 327, (2) viii, 343. Five lithograph plates and twelve woodcut vignettes. Half calf on marbled boards, title in gilt on green morocco labels in the first panel, volume number in gilt direct in the fourth, the remainder blind tooled to a geometric design; red and gold endbands. All edges marbled. A near fine set of the rare first edition.
Acknowledged as the finest book ever written on the West of Ireland. A truly remarkable work by a remarkable author, treating the wild sport, folklore and traditions of that romantic and untouched Erris peninsula. Maxwell was a lively and gifted story-teller with a genuine interest in the ordinary people and how they lived. Born at Newry in 1792, he was educated locally and later went to Trinity. He took holy orders and was transferred to the prebendary of Balla, Co. Mayo, an area which afforded good shooting and fishing. Having befriended the Marquis of Sligo, he was given the use of his shooting box, Croy Lodge, at Ballycroy. It was here he spent most of his time fishing, shooting and pursuing his literary career. It was in the Officers’ Mess at Castlebar Barracks, that he heard all the army gossip. Being a good listener and with an excellent memory he put pen to paper and wrote ‘Stories of Waterloo’. He wrote a total of twenty books in all. He died near Edinburgh in destitute circumstances in 1850.
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