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CANNON, Richard.

Historical Record of The Fifteenth, or The King's Regiment of Light Dragoons, Hussars:

containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1759, and of its Subsequent Services to 1841. Prepared for Publication under the Direction of the Adjutant-General.

London: John W. Parker, 1841 Stock Code: 125526
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First edition. "Reputedly, William IV proposed that a series of regimental histories should be compiled, whereby the general public could be apprised of the distinguished services rendered by the regiments of the British army the work of compilation was entrusted by royal warrant to Cannon. He started immediately and the first volume to be published was a history of the Life Guards in 1837. Cannon's warrant expired on the death of William IV but was renewed on Victoria's accession to the throne. Unfortunately the official funding was not maintained and Cannon endeavoured to finance the project from his own pocket, consequently running into serious pecuniary difficulties Cannon's volumes were authoritative and readable, well produced and often well illustrated. If somewhat lacking in the human interest expected of modern historians, Cannon nevertheless set a standard for succeeding regimental historians to emulate" (ODNB). Subsequent printings were published with 'much inferior' unsigned wood-engraved variants of the original plates. The exact process by which copies of Cannon's histories came to be bound in this style, generally termed "presentation" - very occasionally signed by Smith of Long Acre - is not known. This copy with a Fifteenth Hussars gift inscription, "J.E.L. XV KH from K.H.L." and loosely inserted autograph note signed from Aimée Lowther (dated 24 July 1896), inviting Lord Greenock to dine; the actress Aimée Lowther was the sister of tennis champion Toupie Lowther and the daughter of Francis Lowther, at one time flag-lieutenant to vice-admiral Sir Baldwin Walker; she was a friend of Ellen Terry and Oscar Wilde (see Val Brown, Toupie Lowther: Her Life, 2017). This is a particularly attractive copy.

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Octavo (211 x 136 mm) Contemporary red straight-grained morocco "presentation binding", title gilt direct to the spine, flat bands, crowned lion statant surmounting Imperial crown gilt to the first compartment; title across the second and third, lower two with single fillet panel enclosing design of foliate devices, both boards with panel of thick and thin gilt fillets enclosing a panel of gilt strapwork linking a series of roundels containing stylised foliate tools, centre tool of the Royal arms, title above and below foliate edge-roll, all edges gilt, moderate blue surface-paper endpapers, foliate roll to the turn-ins.


Engraved series title and a single hand-coloured lithographic plate (by Madeley), heightened with gum arabic, showing a mounted officer.


Bookplate of Robert J. Hayhurst, retail chemist and bibliophile, who, alongside his impressive naval library, collected books of the 18th and 19th centuries in well-preserved contemporary bindings. Very light rubbing at the extremities, pale toning to the text, a very good copy.


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