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DUBERLY, Frances Isabella Locke, Mrs. Henry.

Journal kept during the Russian War:

From the Departure of the Army from England in April, 1854, to the Fall of Sebastopol.

Published: London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855

Stock code: 385635

Price: £550

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First edition. Elusive and highly desirable narrative of the Crimean War by the wife of Paymaster Henry Duberly of the 8th Hussars, part of the legendary light brigade. “Although she missed the battle of the Alma and saw only the aftermath of the battle of Inkerman, she witnessed the cavalry charges at Balaklava and the assault on Malakhov, experienced the winter privations, and rode into Sevastopol soon after it fell. Fanny recorded these events daily. She possessed a ready pen, eyes perceptive to detail, youthful self-confidence, and an incisive style softened by candid pathos. Anonymous extracts from her letters home were leaked to the London press, encouraging her to ask her sister Selina’s husband, Francis Marx, to edit her journal for publication. He toned down suspected indiscretions and the book reads less vividly than her letters (now held in the British Library), but a convincing realism survived the excisions and the Journal Kept during the Russian War sold well at Christmas 1855. Readers who anticipated a more heroic romanticism were, however, left uneasy, while Queen Victoria was offended by Fanny’s ingenuous wilfulness” (ODNB).

Octavo. Original brown blind-stamped sand-grained cloth, title gilt to the spine, terracotta endpapers with ads to the pastedowns. A little rubbed, corners bumped, spine sunned, light browning, else a very good copy.

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