[Scott, Michael]


2 Vols., FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM, William Blackwood, Edinburgh ; & T. Cadell, Strand, London, 1833. Vol. I: 371 pp. Vol. II: 384 pp. Both volumes bound in contemporary half-morocco; raised bands; gilt; marbled boards, endpapers & all edges. 17 x 11cm. Some rubbing of boards & shelf wear to extremities of bindings but o/w a clean, tight & V.G. set. This ‘Marryat’-style naval tale evoking the days of cannon smoke in Nelson’s navy was published anonymously, the author kept strict incognito and his identity was only discovered after his death. Michael Scott, (1789-1835), was born in Glasgow and wrote a number of novels but this was his most successful and was followed by The Cruise of the Midge in 1836. Scott went to Jamaica in 1806 and set up in business at Kingston. This led to frequent sea voyages and he used his observations of sea-life for his books. Tom Cringle’s Log first appeared in serial form - as was the practice of the day - in Blackwood’s Magazine, and it was William Blackwood who published the yarn in these two volumes in 1833. Other editions followed, including a pirated edition in Paris in 1834 (not 1836 as stated in Chamber.) Scott’s intimate knowledge of West Indian waters is apparent and is put to good use in this work where much of the action takes place. The hero of the piece, Midshipman Tom Cringle, endures imprisonment in French occupied Prussia as a ‘guest’ of Napoleon, cruises the West Indies aboard HMS TORCH, and makes a daring escape from pirates – all of which leads to his promotion. Peter Kemp in his Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea describes this work as "An amusing and vivid account of life in the Caribbean islands during the early decades of the 19th century." FIRST EDITION OF A NAVAL YARN IN THE DAYS OF THE OLD SAILING NAVY. ATTRACTIVE TWO-VOLUME SET IN CONTEMPORARY HALF-MOROCCO.

Share this book