A Midnight Visit to Holyrood
London: C. L. H. Wallace, Philanthropic Reform Publisher, 1887. Second edition. 21x17cm, , 103, pp. Frontis, single plate of Mary Stuart, few vignette illustrations in text, single page advertisement at rear. Signed and inscribed by Sinclair on the verso of the ffep and dated in 1592. Publisher's green cloth ruled, lettered, and illustrated in gilt. Light edge wear to boards, few scuffs to spine, some marginal foxing throughout else nearly fine.
Marie Sinclair, Countess of Caithness (1830-1895) was already a fairly well known occultist and paranormal investigator when she scheduled a visit to the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, site of the infamous and brutal murder of David Rizzio as witnessed by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Sinclair had claimed to have begun communications with the long dead queen, always at midnight, in the years leading up to her visit. This meeting, which is described in the book in vivid and poetic detail, was prearranged between the Queen and the Countess, Sinclair describing the invitation from Stuart:
"I will meet you at this hour, midnight, in the chapel of Holyrood. I will stand once more beside the altar before which I once knelt, decked in all the bravery of a bride, so light of heart, so full of love for the young bridegroom."
The inscription on this copy is quite fun, reading:
"To dear Mrs Childs - (dear Lady Jane Gordon) - from her most admiring and loving new old friend Marie de Marie 13 Sept 1592"
Perhaps Marie Sinclair has inscribed this copy to a fellow spiritualist who embodied the spirit of Jane (Jean) Gordon, Countess of Bothwell, who was heavily involved in the saga of Marie, Queen of Scots.
Both editions of this fascinating and important spiritualist work are scarce, and rarely turn up signed.