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WISE, Henry.

An Analysis of One Hundred Voyages to and from India, China &c.,

performed by ships in the honourable East India Company's service; with remarks on the advantages of steam-power applied as an auxiliary aid to shipping; and suggestions for improving thereby the communication with India, via the Cape of Good Hope. To which is added an appendix, containing a description of Melville's patent propellers, with plans of the engines, machinery &c.

London: J. W. Norie & W. H. Allen, 1839 Stock Code: 146318
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First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper to the Governor of Bombay, "The Honourable Mountstuart Elphinstone, with the author's respects", with Elphinstone's subsequent Carberry Tower library label to the front pastedown. Elphinstone (1779-1859) was a Scottish statesman and historian appointed to the civil service of the British East India Company and associated with the government of British India.

Wise rose in the East India Company from midshipman in 1819 to chief officer in 1831, before becoming a supercargo in the China Trade, his term of service covering the trading tensions in the run up to the First Opium War of 1839 to 1842. Wise returned to London in 1838 and commenced work on this innovative book in which he recounts his experiences in the marine service and puts forth a plan to use steam and propellors to improve the speed of travel from England to its trading ports. The East India Company was founded in 1600 and across its existence seized and colonised vast expanses of the Indian subcontinent and East Asia. By the time the present work was published its inability to maintain its oppressive governance was becoming clear, causing members like Wise to explore potential avenues, such as technological improvements, to continue their hold. The Company was dissolved in 1874.

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Tall octavo. Rebacked in beige cloth, original purple straight-grain cloth sides retained, title in gilt to front cover, frame blocked in blind to covers, edges speckled in brown.


Frontispiece and 4 plates.


Board edges faded to beige with minor bumps and ripples, cloth faintly foxed, foxing to outer leaves and occasionally to plates, contents largely clean and bright, a couple of small paper abrasions to rear endpapers; an attractive copy in very good condition.


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