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MITFORD, Reginald Colville William Revely, Major.

To Caubul with the Cavalry Brigade.

A Narrative of Personal Experiences with the Force under General Sir F.S. Roberts, G.C.B. with Map and Illustrations from Sketches by the Author.

Published: London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1881

Stock code: 109459

Price: £575

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Second edition, same year as the first. Uncommon account of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mitford “served with the [14th Regt. Bengal Cavalry (Lancers)] throughout the period it was employed in the war, taking part in the advance on and occupation of Kabul, the action of Charasiab, and the operations around Kabul and the Defence of Sherpur in Dec., 1879, and … was mentioned in despatches… [he] commanded the Regiment in the first campaign, and for his services received the Brevet of Lt.-Colonel” (Shadbolt The Afghan Campaigns). Mitford provides excellent detail on the campaign, and writes extremely persuasively, for example on the death of Cavagnari; “They received [him] with a salute of nineteen guns, and after a considerable time spent in compliments, and the inevitable feast … the British envoy and his followers were handed over to their new escort, and – to death. When I said good-bye to Cavagnari he was evidently in very low spirits, and I feel sure that nothing but the indomitable courage and determination which was so striking a feature in his character enabled him to conquer the foreboding of evil which he acknowledged he felt, in spite of all efforts to shake it off” (author’s introduction). Front endpapers with the bookplate and ownership inscription, dated in 1893, of Sir Lewis Michell, Cape Town banker, “close confidant” of Cecil Rhodes, on his death his executor, and in 1910 his first biographer.

Octavo. Original red cloth, title gilt to spine, quotation from Henry IV to the front board within double-ruled panel in black with foliate scrolled decoration, repeated in blind on the rear board, pale yellow surface-paper endpapers. Lithographic frontispiece and five other similar plates, folding lithographic map at the rear. A little rubbed, some bubbling on the boards, spine a touch sunned, and crumpled and chipped head and tail, binding cracked between gatherings 8 and 9, but the stitching remains entirely sound, light browning, and scatter of foxing to the text-block, overall very good.

Bibliography: Not in Bruce.

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