The River War.
An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan. Edited by Col. F. Rhodes. Illustrated by Angus McNeill, Seaforth Highlanders.
First edition, first impression, second state – minor typographic error (second inverted comma missing after THE ‘LONDON GAZETTE[‘]) corrected on p. 459 of volume II – of Churchill’s second book, preceded only by The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898), “2000 copies published on 6 November 1899” (Woods). It includes, of course, his account of the charge of the 21st Lancers, to whom he was attached, at Omdurman on 2 September 1898, described by the Dictionary of National Biography as “that last cavalry charge of the dying century”. DNB also considers The River War a “superb” history; whilst Churchill himself more graphically called it “a tale of blood and war”. This particular copy has a good military provenance: both volumes bear the contemporary armorial bookplate of wealthy Huguenot-descended businessman Henry Pigé-Leschallas (d. 1903), father of Captain Gilbert Pigé-Leschallas, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who was killed in action at Gallipoli (for the blunders of which Churchill himself was largely blamed). They also have the armorial bookplates of Henry Frederick, 6th Marquess of Bath, one of the “Bright Young People” of the 1920s who went on to gain the rank of Major in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, and be awarded the Bronze and Silver Star for action in the Second World War.
2 volumes, octavo. Original dark blue cloth, titles and pictorial decoration gilt to spines and upper boards, black-coated endpapers. Both volumes separately housed in a navy full morocco bookform folding case. Portrait frontispiece in each volume. 4 illustrated plates and 11 folding maps in volume 1, 2 illustrated plates and 9 folding maps and three non-folding maps in volume 2, and numerous illustrations, maps and plans in the text. Extremities rubbed with tiny splits to the joints of volume 1, tape reinforcement to the hinges between half-title and frontispiece in both volumes, cracked in volume 1,spotting throughout; good condition.
Bibliography: Cohen A2.1.b: Woods A2(a)Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary