First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the photographer, To Angus McBean – thanks for your help! Andreas Feininger. McBean contributes images to pages 144 and 200. From the library of Angus McBean.2qw
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A handsomely bound copy of Gell’s Pompeina, very attractively illustrated, with beautiful mythological studies and “views” of imaginatively reconstructed (and often rather romantically repopulated) Pompeii, the whole giving an enthusiastic impression of a beautiful, advanced, and rather sensual, civilisation. Gell originally worked, as architectural draughtsman, with architect John Peter Gandy on an archaeological survey of the classical Mediterranean, and their joint production, Pompeiana, originally published 1817-9, is (apart from William Hamilton’s notes) the first study in English of the excavation of Pompeii. The 1832 (of which this is the first Lewis 1837 reissue) edition was rewritten by Gell alone, and the focus of this production are the marvellous images, accompanied by Gell’s descriptive text. Though Pompeiana is Gell’s best known work , he also published the Topography of Troy and its Vicinity (1804), Geography and Antiquities of Ithaca (1807), Itinerary of Greece, with a Comentary on Pausanias and Strabo (1810); and Itinerary of the Morea (1816) and the Topography of Rome and its Vicinity (1834); and in these works contributed to the English reading public’s conception of the classical past during the Romantic period.
First French edition, one year after the first London. An extremely interesting account of India in the mid-eighteenth century; “a compendium of observations on both English and Indian cultures … the declining power of the Mughal government, and its replacement with English measures. A plethora of observations on subjects such as trade, fortifications, public buildings, and relations with the French” (Riddick) these last probably accounting for its rapid translation. Born in 1732, the son of an immigrant Swiss jeweller; “After taking a course in writing and merchants’ accounts at J. Bland’s academy in Bishopsgate, Grose was elected a writer in the East India Company in November 1749 and arrived to serve in the Bombay presidency in August 1750. He was advanced to deputy secretary early in 1753, but his career ended soon after, when he was dismissed the service and sent home, ‘having been deprived of his senses for some months past, and there being no hope of his recovery'” (ODNB). His life thereafter was somewhat rackety, running through his inheritance in his father’s lifetime and being forced by debt to flee to France where he lived for four years. “His mother’s death brought another inheritance (though vested in two of his brothers), [when] he returned to England in 1774, but only after being imprisoned for attempting to travel without a passport and badly injuring one of those arresting him. No later reference to him has been found.” The editing, and augmentation, of this work for publication has recently been shown to be the work of John Cleland. In his “avertissement” the translator, Philippe Hernandez, remarks that Grose had been “plus … aidé” [greatly assisted] by “M. Cl.”, “homme célébre en Angleterre par ses productions, son style & son gout” [famous in England his works, style and taste]. Circumstantially this identification of Cleland as “a key collaborator or perhaps the text’s ghostwriter”could be seen as being confirmed by the fact that Hernandez was one of the editors of the Journal Étranger in which excerpts of Fanny Hill had been published in 1755. Further hard evidence has been traced by Hal Gladfelder, who publishes a letter sent by Cleland to his lawyer in 1757 asking him to obtain “some papers relating to” the East Indies, as a “Mr. Grose of Richmond” has “appl[ied] to me for some materials towards a treatise” on the subject (Fanny Hill in Bombay: The Making and Unmaking of John Cleland, pp34-5). He also identifies a great deal of “material that echoes his preoccupations and experience”: his etymological researches; his interest in the political effects of trade; “the extended accounts of Mogul seraglios and the dancing girls of Surat [which] are akin to passages in the Coxcomb and the Dictionary of Love” (p35); together with a somewhat malicious story relating to a sea captain, William Boag, with whom Cleland had tangled previously, which could have no other source. Represents Cleland’s only writing on his time in India.An interesting edition of an important text with typically tangled eighteenth-century origins.
First UK edition, originally published in India in the same year. Outram was the resident at Lucknow from 1854 to 1856 when he became commissioner at Oudh, and from 1858 to 1860 he served on the governor general’s council. “His military experience included the Command of the Persian Expedition shortly before the Mutiny. In the campaign Havelock was his subordinate. At the conclusion of the Persian Campaign Outram returned to Calcutta and was given command of the Dinapur and Cawnpore Divisions.” He advanced with Havelock to Lucknow, graciously subordinating himself and “accompanying him only in his civil capacity as commissioner, and placing his military services at Havelock’s disposal as a volunteer.” Havelock died at Lucknow, Outram remaining to hold the Allumbagh position until reinforced by Colin Campbell to reclaim the city. “Outram was a good soldier and a skilful diplomatist. Filled with ambition, he was nevertheless most unselfish. Possessed of great courage, a strong individuality, a warm temper, untiring energy, and good physique, he was kind-hearted, modest, and chivalrous. There used to be a Bombay service saying, ‘A fox is a fool and a lion a coward compared with James Outram'” (DNB).
First edition. Outram was the resident at Lucknow from 1854 to 1856 when he became commissioner at Oudh, and from 1858 to 1860 he served on the governor general’s council. “His military experience included the Command of the Persian Expedition shortly before the Mutiny. In the campaign Havelock was his subordinate. At the conclusion of the Persian Campaign Outram returned to Calcutta and was given command of the Dinapur and Cawnpore Divisions.” He advanced with Havelock to Lucknow, graciously subordinating himself and “accompanying him only in his civil capacity as commissioner, and placing his military services at Havelock’s disposal as a volunteer.” Havelock died at Lucknow, Outram remaining to hold the Allumbagh position until reinforced by Colin Campbell to reclaim the city. “Outram was a good soldier and a skilful diplomatist. Filled with ambition, he was nevertheless most unselfish. Possessed of great courage, a strong individuality, a warm temper, untiring energy, and good physique, he was kind-hearted, modest, and chivalrous. There used to be a Bombay service saying, ‘A fox is a fool and a lion a coward compared with James Outram'” (DNB).
First edition, home issue, only printing, first state, of Churchill’s first book, this copy without the errata slip at p. 1, catalogue dated 12/97. Relates his exploits with the Malakand Field Force, led by Sir Bindon Blood, on the Northwest Frontier of India in 1897. Based on Churchill’s despatches to the Daily Telegraph and the Pioneer Mail, and, as Churchill was still in India, the final editing was undertaken by Moreton Frewen, Churchill’s uncle, husband of Clara Jerome, Jennie’s elder sister, resulting in numerous small errors which were corrected the following year in the Silver Library edition. Churchill had a clear purpose in writing these pieces, as he wrote to his mother, “I had written them with a design, a design which took form as the correspondence advanced, of bringing my personality before the electorate. I had hoped that some political advantage might have accrued … I do not think that I have ever written anything better”.
True first editions, published by the British Forces in Germany at the end of the war, both volumes inscribed “To: Alan Cunningham with my best wishes Montgomery of Alamein Field-Marshal, June 1946.” An extremely interesting association. Cunningham had served with distinction in the First World War, MC, DSO, and five times Mentioned in Dispatches, and as General Officer Commanding East Africa during the campaign to reconquer Abyssinia he “showed himself a brilliant, daring leader, moving with astonishing speed and achieving startling results …Thrusting into Somaliland, Cunningham captured Mogadishu on 25 February, and by using seaports as supply bases, reached Harar a month later, having advanced 1000 miles. He then turned on Addis Ababa, which fell on 5 April. In two months he and his men had covered 1700 miles, liberated nearly 400,000 square miles of country, and taken 50,000 prisoners, all at the cost of 500 casualties …Italian East Africa had been conquered in four months. Cunningham was appointed both CB and KCB in the same year” (ODNB). Later in 1941 he was chosen by Sir Claude Auchinleck to command the Eighth Army in the Western Desert, where his lack of “experience of the pell-mell style of desert fighting practised by Rommel, [meant that he]was unable to control such fast-moving operations”, leading to the failure of Operation Crusader. He was dismissed, and returned to England. Following the war Cunningham was appointed High Commissioner and Commander-in-Chief Palestine and High Commissioner Transjordan, positions that he held until the British hand-over in 1948, filling them with considerable dignity, being described by the distinguished Middle Eastern scholar Wm. Roger Louis as ‘a remarkable proconsul’. His tenure was however greatly complicated by his late successor i/c Eighth Army; “From June 1946 through the end of the Mandate the position of Chief of Imperial General Staff was held by … Montgomery, who had a difficult relationship with Cunningham. The discord between [them] stemmed from two factors. The first was the dissonance between a civilian outlook and a military outlook. Cunningham understood his role first and foremost as the head of civilian government in the country, the success of which could be judged by the welfare of its citizens … In contrast, Montgomery believed that the proper response to force was even greater force” (Miller, Britain, Palestine and Empire: The Mandate Years, p183) The other factor was perhaps the more powerful, and that was Montgomery’s judgement of Cunningham’s ability as a soldier; “Even before the Second World War had come to an end, Montgomery … had already written the history of the 8th Army … In this story there was no room for the founder of the 8th Army or for others … for that matter. The most coverage that such figures received was a description of their mistakes and their weaknesses. During the period … 1946-1948, Montgomery did not hesitate to tell anyone who would listen who he was, and, most importantly, who Sir Alan Cunningham was: a loser unable to move from defence to offence, who was removed from duty in the midst of battle.” So here we have Monty’s own account of his commands during the Second World War, presented rather cooly to a skilled soldier, one of his predecessors with the 8th Army, and a man whose reputation he was doing all he could to undermine.
Unpublished transcript of Platt’s lectures in the prestigious Lees Knowles series, signed by him at the foot of the title page. Platt was commander of the Sudan Defence Force, and led the forces invading Italian East Africa from Sudan during the East African Campaign. After occupying the abandoned railway junction at Kassala in the Sudan, Platt advanced into Eritrea and captured Agordat with relative ease. However “at the almost impregnable mountain stronghold of Keren the Italians stood; it took nearly two months … and heavy casualties on both sides, to dislodge them. Platt’s advance towards the southern arm of the pincer was pressed, Addis Ababa fell, and Platt’s and Cunningham’s forces came together at Amba Alagi. Here the Italian commander, the duke of Aosta, surrendered with the honours of war on 19 May 1941. Platt modestly described Keren and other engagements in Ethiopia as ‘bows and arrows’ battles compared with those in the western desert. ‘But, had it not been for his vigorous and competent leadership, the Italian occupation might have been indefinitely prolonged’ (The Times, 29 September 1975)” (ODNB). Extremely uncommon, we have traced a single copy to the IWM, another in the Liddell Hart Military Archives, KCL, although Mockler in Haile Selassie’s War refers to an MOD publication of the same title and date, this may be a case of misidentification.
Robert Ross’s typescript copy of the portions of the De Profundis manuscript that he had left unpublished in 1905, annotated by him and sent by him for use in Lord Alfred Douglas’s libel action against Arthur Ransome and his publishers, with signs of use by the defence council. On its reading in open court, this was the first publication of the unpublished portion. In the latter months of his two years’ prison sentence for homosexual crimes, Wilde was working on two long pieces: one, a letter remonstrating with Lord Alfred Douglas for his heartless parasitism and shared responsibility for Wilde’s downfall; the other, a literary essay similar to the first published version of De Profundis. By the time he had finished, the two texts were closely intermingled. Wilde sent the resulting manuscript to Robert Ross, his friend and literary executor, instructing him to make two copies and send the manuscript to Douglas. Instead Ross kept the original manuscript and sent a copy to Douglas, who apparently destroyed it without reading much beyond the first few pages. In 1905 Ross published De Profundis (the title was his), an abridged version which aimed to restore the piece as a purely literary essay. The published version omitted all elements of being a direct letter to Douglas, though it was still obvious that it was addressed to a specific person. Arthur Ransome (later of Swallows and Amazons fame) was subsequently commissioned by Martin Secker to write a critical study of Oscar Wilde, published by the Times Book Club in 1912. In discussing De Profundis, Ransome made a vague reference to the hidden identity of Wilde’s amour fatale. Douglas promptly sued for libel. Although Ross was not called to give evidence in the case, he supplied Ransome’s lawyers with this typescript of the unpublished portions of the original manuscript of De Profundis, which was read out in the High Court of Justice (King’s Bench Division) on 17 and 18 April 1913 and published in the London daily papers the following days. The evidence was sufficient to show that Douglas was undoubtedly the person addressed by Wilde. Douglas lost his case. Ross then deposited the original manuscript in the British Library with instructions that it could not published until 1960. (In the event it was not until 1962 that the original manuscript was finally published in full.) Ransome’s defence was conducted by Sir Henry Alfred McCardie (1869–1933), then a highly successful junior barrister, later a judge controversial for his outspokenly advanced opinions on social questions. There are pencilled instructions to the legal binder on the last page, asking for the linen covers and replacement of the original brass stud with a cloth tie to be done “at once”, dated 12 March 1913, a month before the trial. On the front cover a pencil note states: “Mc reads to top p. 27 ap[ril] 17/13; Mc reads to p. 52 ap 18/13″. In order to preserve US copyright and forestall Douglas’s plan to print his own edition, Ross had a privately-printed edition of 15 copies only of this manuscript printed in New York and registered with the Library of Congress on 24 September 1913. Incomplete portions of related typescripts have appeared on the market in the past: some are now held at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA. Ross’s personal secretary and typist at the time of the trial was Christopher Sclater Millard (1872–1927), otherwise Stuart Mason, author of the standard (and probably unsurpassable) Wilde bibliography and in his later years an antiquarian book dealer. The suspicion must be that those copy typescripts emanated from him at an unknown date, perhaps without Ross’s authorization. This complete typescript, however, as read in court by McCardie, and with a two-line footnote in Ross’s hand, has clear priority as the first and authorized publication of the unpublished portions.
First edition, third impression (a month after the first). An account of the operations of the RAF fighter squadrons of the Advanced Air Striking Force in France from September 1939 to June 1940.