I have happily been able to attend some regional book sales again after a two year hiatus. At a recent event I handled but didn’t purchase a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Master of Ballentræ .The 1965 Limited Edition Club production of the Scottish novel was printed in an edition of 1500 copies at the Press of A. Colish in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., with 28 two-color lithographs drawn on stone by Lynd Ward.
The book, originally published in 1889, is about the conflict between two noble-born Scottish brothers whose family is torn apart by the Jacobite uprising of 1745. This edition is appropriately bound in a Tartan of the Black Watch, which has its origins in the Jacobite uprising of 1715.The Watch was established 10 years after the first rebellion to patrol the Scottish Highlands to maintain order and prevent future rebellions. The Companies of the Watch were formed by members of Clans Campbell, Fraser of Lovat, Grant, and Munro. The tartan established for these companies are still worn by Scottish regiments today.
Foolishly, I passed on buying the book because I was focused on purchasing items in my specialty areas of travel, history, and art. Of course, I just spotted a copy of the novel on a book website and realized that the volume that I didn’t purchase was one of only 1500 copies issued. Live and learn—hopefully.