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(NAVAL.) BRASSEY, Thomas, first Earl.

The “Sunbeam,” R. Y. S.

Voyages and Experiences in Many Waters. Naval Reserves and Other Matters.

Published: London: John Murray, 1917

Stock code: 105488

Price: £300

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First edition, first impression. Presentation copy from the author, with an affectionate autograph note signed: “Lady Jellicoe, to you both from your old half sailor friend, Brassey. 21 November 1917” (paper letterheaded 24 Park Lane); Jellicoe is mentioned on page 89 of the book in connection with the Merchant Navy. Thomas, first Earl Brassey (1836-1918), had a lifelong passion for yachting and “was elected to the Royal Yacht Squadron a year after leaving Oxford”; but his place in the annals of British naval history go beyond this: he was the founder of The Naval Annual and “contributed much to reforms in naval administration and policy during the era of transition from sail to steam, and from 1880 to 1884 was Civil Lord of the Admiralty in Gladstone’s second administration and from then until 1885 was Parliamentary Secretary” (The Oxford Companion to Ships & the Sea, p. 105). During the Great War “Sunbeam” was “initially used as a hospital ship in the eastern Mediterranean” (Oxford Companion).

Octavo. Original blue decorative cloth, gilt lettered spine and front cover. Heliogravure portrait frontispiece, 49 monochrome plates. From the library of Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, first Earl Jellicoe (1859-1935), commander of the Grand Fleet at Jutland (31 May – 1 June 1916). Spine sunned, fore-edge foxed.

Bibliography: Toy, Adventures Afloat, A Nautical Bibliography, 136: "journal of a lifetime of cruising".

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