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GERMON, Maria.

A Diary kept by Mrs. R. C. Germon, at Lucknow...

between the months of May and December, 1857.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Waterlow and Sons, 1870

Stock Code: 133835

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of this scarce eyewitness account, "the Writer of the following Diary has frequently been requested to have a few copies printed for circulation amongst her friends" (Preface). Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "Mrs Taylor, with the writer's kind regards" and a number of neat authorial corrections in the text. Copac cites copies at just four British and Irish institutional libraries (BL, Scotland, Cambridge, Trinity College Dublin), OCLC adds only University of Alberta; the original manuscript is held at India Office Records.

"From May 15th to December 8th, 1857, Mrs Germon kept a daily record of events during the Siege of Lucknow. Her journal tells a simple, frank story of fighting heat, hunger, and lice. An occupant of Dr Fayrer's house on the Residency grounds, she assumed control of the food and its preparation with the flight of the native servants. Within days of the start of the siege, she recorded her new found ability to distinguish the type of incoming shot or shell. As the siege extended... her journal... comments on the growing level of malnutrition and its impact on the sick,, particularly the children... The journal closes on a happy note with the safe evacuation of she and captain Germon to Calcutta" (Riddick). Captain Charles Germon of the 13th Native Infantry commanded the Judicial Commissioner's house during the siege and evaded death a number of times: on one occasion "his horse having been shot in the nose... the Brigadier was shot about two yards from him" (p. 22); on another occasion "a bullet had entered his helmet at the side, gone out at the top, carrying the ventilator with it!" (p. 63). The diary concludes with a "return of Killed and Wounded".

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Octavo. Original deep purple morocco-grain cloth, title gilt and double-rule blind panel to front cover, pale mustard yellow coated endpapers, gilt edges.


Folding hand-coloured lithograph map frontispiece ("Plan of the Defences of Lucknow").


Binding neatly refurbished, general toning and a touch of foxing internally. A very good copy.


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