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Field Marshall Sir Neville Chamberlain.

Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons, 1909 Stock Code: 142125
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First edition of what remains the only biography of Sir Neville Chamberlain (1820-1902), the materials for which were largely provided by Chamberlain's sister, Harriet, and by his son. Chamberlain was a career British Army officer who served with great distinction through many campaigns. He travelled to India in 1837 and served in the First Afghan War (1839-42) with the 16th Bengal Native Infantry, which as part of the Army of the Indus occupied Kandahar before fighting its way to Kabul to meet Pollock's invading force. He then served in the Gwalior campaign (1843), as military secretary to the governor of Bombay. In the Second Sikh War (1848-9) he was at Chillianwala and Gujrat, and in 1854 was appointed to command the Punjab Moveable Column against frontier tribes. During the Mutiny he was made adjutant-general of the Delhi Field force and was severely wounded there and disabled by a shot to the shoulder. From 1858 to 1864 he was engaged on the North-West Frontier, including expeditions against the Kabul Khel Wazirs and the Mahsuds, and the Ambela Campaign (1863). In 1876 he became commander-in-chief of the Madras Army, travelled to Kabul as part of the British mission of 1878, and retired three years later.

The author, G. W. Forrest, was one of the most diligent and distinguished historians of British India. His father, Captain George Forrest, served with the Bengal Artillery and won a VC for his defence of the Delhi magazine in May 1857. His History of the Indian Mutiny (1904-12) is a foundational work on that conflict. "In making so many documents available to the public he had opened the way for a new type of history of British India, one that broke with the privileged narratives of inside men... it was a lasting achievement" (ODNB).

Provenance: ownership inscription on front free endpaper verso, "E. B. Hales, 2/Durham Light Infantry, 16:vi:1911"; Ernest Baseley Hales (1867-1936) retired with the rank major in 1911, having served during the Second Boer War. He was recalled during the Great War and held the temporary rank of lieutenant-colonel commanding 17th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.

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Octavo. Original red pebble-grain cloth, gilt-lettered spine, paired blind fillet panel to covers, top edge gilt.


Photogravure portrait frontispiece of Chamberlain and another (1864) as major-general (both with tissue guard), by Swan Electric Engraving Co. Ltd.


Binding skilfully refurbished, extremities of spine and corners consolidated, gilt retouched, scattered foxing. A very good copy.


Bruce 3973; Ladendorf 138; Sorsky 407.


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