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MACKINNON, Lauchlan Bellingham.

Steam Warfare in the Parana:

A Narrative of Operations by the Combined Squadrons of England and France in forcing a Passage up that River.

Published: London: Charles Ollier, 1848

Stock code: 92655

Price: £1,250

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition. Uncommon account of the Anglo-French naval interventions against Rojas’s Argentine Confederation written by a participant. Mackinnon “obtained the particular mention of Commodore Sir Chas., Hotham for the skill he exemplified in the command of the rocket-party [at San Lorenzo], which had been obliged to remain two days and nights concealed under the enemy’s nose” (O’Byrne). Despite the successful forcing of the river at Obligado by the Anglo-French squadrons, the consequent settlement, dictated by financial and political considerations, was highly favourable to the Argentines. Following Obligado, “There was little further resistance; and although the allies afterwards relieved Montevideo from an attack by some of the friends of Rosas, and, for a time, occupied the city, the difficulties at issue thenceforward became the subject rather of diplomatic negotiations than of active measures. Many of the advantages which had been gained were, unfortunately, sacrificed or neutralised by the terms of the settlement; but in spite of the rather unhandsome manner in which the services of the Navy on this most creditable expedition were treated by the Government, it must be admitted that seldom have British officers, bluejackets, and Marines deserved better of their country” (Clowes, VI, p.345). Ownership inscription of Spencer N. Dickson, sometime Chilean consul in London to the half- title of volume I, a few informed pencilled annotations to the margins.

2 volumes, octavo. Original purplish-brown vertically finely ribbed cloth with elaborate panels in blind to the boards, title gilt to the spines, pale cream surface-paper endpapers. Folding lithographed map frontispiece to volume I together with 2 wood-engraved plates, wood-engraved frontispiece to volume II, half-titles present. A little rubbed, spines sunned, upper board of volume II mottled at the fore-edge, light toning, foxing to the prelims of volume II, remains a very good set.

Bibliography: Sabin 43463.

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