London: Printed for Payne and Foss, Pall-Mall; and William Pickering, Chancery Lane; By Thomas Davison, Whitefriars, 1831. First edition. Binding extremities lightly rubbed with some soiling and light wear to boards. Spine label has some minor fading and a few small chips affecting the lettering. Minor ink stains to verso of half-title and recto of title page. Pencil annotations on front pastedown and ink signature on front fly leaf. A very good copy of a scarce book, especially in the original cloth. Publisher's blue cloth with a black-lettered paper spine label, skillfully rebacked with old spine laid down. Octavo. vi, 207, [1, blank], [+1, ads] pp. Item #16225
Joseph Ritson (1752-1803) was an English conveyor, though his literary and antiquarian pursuits were of greater importance to him. Ritson held radical political opinions and published a broadside entitled The Descent of the Crown of England (1778), which heavily criticized the 1688 revolution. He is well known for his exhaustive work Robin Hood: a collection of all the ancient poems, songs, and ballads now extant related to that celebrated English outlaw (2 vols., 1795). Eventually, he began suffering from mental illness and, after his death, his nephew published some of Ritson's work posthumously, including Fairy Tales, now First Collected (1831), a collection of old songs, ballads, and essays. (Oxford DNB).
OCLC lists ten copies, only three of which are in North America.