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WILLYAMS, Cooper.

A Voyage up the Mediterranean in His Majesty’s Ship the Swiftsure,

one of the squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, K.B., now Viscount and Baron Nelson of the Nile, and Duke of Bronte in Sicily. With a Description of the Battle of the Nile on the First of August 1798, and a detail of events that occurred subsequent to the battle in various parts of the Mediterranean.

Published: London: Printed by T. Bensley for J. White, 1802.

Stock code: 92461

Price: £2,500

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First edition of this richly illustrated first-hand account of the Battle of the Nile. Cooper Willyams (1762–1816), topographer and artist, was ordained in 1784. In 1797, he became domestic chaplain to the earl of St Vincent before he, a year later, began serving as chaplain of HMS Swiftsure, captained by Benjamin Hallowell. Willyams was on board the Swiftsure during the Nile battle and “his account, full of engravings from his own drawings…contained ‘the first, the most particular, and the most authentic account of the battle'” (ODNB).

Quarto (297 x 240 mm). Modern dark blue half morocco, marbled boards, raised bands to spine, titles to spine gilt, floral decorations to compartments gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, marbled endpapers. With etched dedication page by Thomas Girtin, 40 aquatints signed J. C. Stadler, all but one after drawings by the author, occasional woodcut tailpieces, one double-paged map, and one plan detailing the battle of the Nile. Joints, corners, and tail of spine very gently rubbed, light offsetting from plates throughout, occasional small nicks and chips to margins of text block. An excellent copy.

Bibliography: Abbey Travel 196; Blackmer 1813; Ibrahim-Hilmy II, p.335; Prideaux, p.223.

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