SLATIN, Rudolf C.
Fire and Sword in the Sudan.
A Personal Narrative of Fighting and Serving the Dervishes. 1879-1895. Translated by Major F. R. Wingate.
Third edition, first published in the same year. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the half-title: “To General George W. Wingate, with best compliments from the author, R. Slatin. Merano 4/III 928”. This is almost certainly George Wood Wingate (1840-1928), an American lawyer who served in a New York regiment during the Civil War and later as a general in the National Guard; he may have been related to the book’s translator, F. R. Wingate. The location, Merano (or Meran) is a spa resort in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Perhaps both men were “taking the waters” there at the time the book was presented. “Slatin’s career in the Sudan covered thirty-six eventful years. He started in January 1879 in the finance department as an inspector with the rank of a bimbashi (the Turkish equivalent of a major). Later that year he was appointed governor of Dara, in south-western Darfur, and after less than a year became governor-general of the whole province. In his major publication Fire and Sword in the Sudan (1896) Slatin was vague about his duties in Darfur. However, his life as governor-general was soon disrupted by Muhammad Ahmad ibn ‘Abdullahi, who in June 1881 declared himself the Mahdi of the Sudan. Soon the Mahdi and his followers (ansar) escaped from Aba Island, on the White Nile, to the Nuba Mountains and Slatin became actively involved in the uprising… Fire and Sword in the Sudan was published in English in 1896 and was dedicated to Queen Victoria. Its impact on public opinion in Europe was greater than Wingate had expected. It appeared in numerous editions until 1935, and was translated into German, Italian, French, and Arabic” (ODNB).
Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary
Octavo. Original dark red cloth, gilt lettered spine, pictorial gilt block on front cover, top edges gilt. Portrait frontispiece, 21 plates, 2 folding maps. A few marks to binding, touch of foxing to title.