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LECKY, Halton Stirling.

The King’s Ships – K-Z.

Published: ?London: c.1920

Stock code: 83203

Price: £750

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Proofs of the continuation of Lecky’s remarkable work of compilation The King’s Ships, containing outline details of over 1700 ships and their engagements. Volumes I-III, covering A-J, had been published by Horace Muirhead, 1913-4, but publication of the concluding 3 volumes was suspended due to the outbreak of the First World War, and never resumed. Naval and Maritime specialist bookseller Michael Nash was in contact with Lecky’s eldest daughter Barbara in the early 1980s, and she explained that her father had been working on the continuation, but had left the manuscript on a train, and abandoned the project. She spent considerable time searching for the missing document (personal communication). The present proofs, headed sporadically “The King’s Ships”, and with a few minor manuscript annotations, were apparently in the reference library of the booksellers Francis Edwards until it was sold off in 1985. It is possible that Francis Edwards had intended to issue the final volumes at some point, which would explain their presence there. Lecky had a distinguished naval career between the Boer War, when he took part in the Delagoa Blockade, and the First World War, when he was responsible for the creation of the Auxiliary Patrol Service, for which he was awarded C.B., and served in the Aegean blockade of the Dardanelles and the occupation of Constantinople. In 1919 he organised the Mine Clearance Service, receiving the high appreciation of the Board of Admiralty. He retired in 1925, and died in 1940.

Quarto (276 179 mm) later twentieth-century brown buckram volume with bisected galley proofs mounted on 60 leaves, title gilt to the spine. First galley slightly browned and soiled, and with a few marginal splits, else very good.

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