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DOWNEY, Thomas.

Naval Poems. Pleasures of the Naval Life, and the Battle of Trafalgar.

Published: London: by T. C. Hansard for C. Cradock and W.Joy, and J. Hatchard, 1813

Stock code: 42970

Price: £1,250

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First edition. Downey explains that he has written “The Pleasures of Naval Life” as a corrective to the “tone of querulous despondence” that underlies so much naval literature; “The Naval Life is NOT a series of privations, distresses, and affliction. It presents a variety of situations, the delights of which are heightened by contrast.” The poem takes the form of an account of a voyage from Falmouth to India, returning to London via St. Helena. In the second part he essays a blow-by-blow account of Nelson’s climactic victory in rhyming couplets. The impressive four-page subscribers list includes Dr. William Beatty, who attended the dying Nelson on board Victory, Admirals Northesk and Durham, Vice Admiral Harvey and Captains Bayntun and Pellew, all of whom served in the battle, together with Cochrane, Admiral Duckworth, Admiral Keith, and John Wilson Croker, secretary to the Board of Admiralty, to whom the book is dedicated. An extremely handsome copy of an uncommon title, four copies only on COPAC, copy in NMM.

Quarto (350 260 mm). Original drab boards, paper label to the spine. Modern bookplate to the front free endpaper, which has stained through to the verso slightly, joints a little cracked, spine chipping, boards a touch rubbed, but an excellently preserved, uncut copy.

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