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BAZANCOURT, César Lecat, Baron de.

The Crimean Expedition, to the Capture of Sebastopol.

Chronicles of the War in the East, from its Commencement to the Signing of the Treaty of Peace. Translated from the French by Robert Howe Gould.

Published: London: Sampson Low, Son & Co., 1856

Stock code: 93112

Price: £850

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First edition in English, same year as the first French. Bazancourt was appointed official historiographer by Napoleon III, and charged with the responsibility of producing a history of the French part in the war in the Crimea. He left in January 1855 and on his arrival “received, from the principal officers of the Army, a welcome, by which I was at once honoured and profoundly touched. I have drawn from these living sources, the valuable and authentic documents which have guided me through the labyrinths of this complicated work. The Journals of the various Divisions – and those of all the military operations of the campaign and the siege – have been shown to me. It is upon the very spot where the greater part of these events had passed, that those who had directed them have recounted to me their most striking episodes. I inquired – I listened – and I wrote” (author’s preface). He subsequently wrote similar accounts of the campaign in Italy 1859, and in China and Cochinchina, 1860-2. Eton leaving inscription to the first blank dated 1860; “George Henry William Hervey from his sincere friend Clanmaurice”. Henry Charles Keith Petty Fitzmaurice, viscount Clanmaurice, later fifth marquess of Lansdowne, was Governor General of Canada (1883-8), Viceroy of India (1888-94), Secretary of State For War (1895-1900) and Foreign Secretary (1900- 1905). Not common, and here in a slightly worn, but still attractive, binding by the incomparable Hayday, whose “name attached to a book raised its value twenty-five per cent” (DNB).

2 volumes octavo (212 130 mm). Contemporary calf by Hayday, black morocco labels, gilt in compartments with fleuron centre-tool, double gilt fillet panels with floral corner-tools, enclosing a dotted panel in blind, marbled edges and endpapers. Portrait frontispiece to both volumes. A bit rubbed, particularly at the spines, one label a little chipped, head-cap of volume II chipped and repaired, front hinge of volume I, starting but sound, light toning, very good.

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