CUNYNGHAME, Sir Arthur Thurlow.
An Aide-de-Camp’s Recollections of Service in China, a Residence in Hong-Kong, and Visits to other Islands in the Chinese Seas.
First edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by Cunynghame “From the author, to Dr. Heldermaier” on the half-title of the first volume: Dr Heldermaier is recorded as the headmaster of Worksop School in Nottinghamshire. Cunynghame (1812-1884), the son of a Scottish baronet and the illegitimate daughter of Edward Thurlow, the lord chancellor, was commissioned second lieutenant, by purchase, in the 60th Royal Rifles on 2 November 1830, and was promoted first lieutenant on 22 May 1835. “After serving with his battalion in the Mediterranean he became aide-de-camp to Lord Saltoun in China in 1841, and was present at the capture of Chinkiang (Zhenjiang) and at the siege of Nanking (Nanjing). He got his company in the 3rd foot (the Buffs) in 1841, became major in that regiment in 1845, and lieutenant-colonel 13th light infantry in 1846, exchanging as captain and lieutenant-colonel to the Grenadier Guards on 1 December 1846, then as junior lieutenant-colonel to the 20th foot in America on 27 April 1849” (ODNB). The first volume describes Cunynghame’s journey out, which took him via Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Hong Kong; the second is mainly concerned with his travels within China. Cunynghame later served in with distinction in the Crimea, and as lieutenant governor in South Africa in the years leading up to the Zulu War. Uncommon in the original cloth.
2 volumes, octavo (200 x 122 mm). Original vertically-ribbed green cloth, decorative blind rules to spines forming compartments, first and fifth stamped in blind, others compartments gilt-lettered direct, covers decoratively panel-stamped in blind, central pictorial device gilt to front covers, fore and bottom edges untrimmed, yellow surface-paper endpapers. Tinted lithographic frontispiece to each volume, 7 similar plates, occasional line-drawings to the text. Library label of Worksop School to front pastedowns, with associated inked annotations to front free endpapers. Recent bookplate of collector Robert J. Hayhurst to front pastedown of vol. 1. Sunned along spines and extremities, tips bumped, a few small markings to front covers, vol. 1 spine rolled and cockled, inner hinges split but holding, these flaws minor: an excellent copy, internally crisp and fresh, with bright plates.
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