FORSYTH, William.

History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena;

From the Letters and Journals of the Late Lieut.-Gen. Sir Hudson Lowe, and Official Documents not before made Public.

London: John Murray, 1853 Stock Code: 140969

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First edition. Forsyth sought to prove "by mere force of facts... that neither the British government nor Lowe were in fault as regards the treatment of Napoleon at St Helena" (p. x). Lowe was Napoleon's gaoler during his exile on St Helena, and soon became exasperated with the intransigence of his captive, apparently unaware that the pair were engaged in a strategic battle of wits. Barry O'Meara, a disgraced army surgeon, was invited to St Helena as Napoleon's personal doctor, and returned to England in 1819 with news of the captive's poor treatment, publishing Napoleon in Exile, or A Voice From St. Helena, in 1822. His cause found strong support among the Whigs, and Lowe, although defended by Lord Wellington, never received the customary pension for an officer of his rank and died in poverty, in London, in 1844. William Forsyth (18121899), was a Cambridge-educated barrister and miscellaneous author, a confidant of former Whig Lord Chancellor Lord Brougham, who was encouraged to edit Lowe's papers by John Murray III. He was Conservative MP for Marylebone 1874-80. Attractively presented set of this important contribution to the understanding of the ex-Emperor's final exile.

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3 volumes, octavo (214 x 133 mm). Near contemporary half calf, red and green morocco labels to spines, narrow flat bands with dotted roll, compartments attractively gilt with foliate tools, central lozenge with quatrefoil device, single gilt rule to spine and corner edges, pink Fantasy-marbled boards, edges, and endpapers.


Engraved frontispiece to each volume and engraved folding map to rear of volume 1.


Spines perhaps a touch sunned, lightest of shelf wear, contents lightly browned, short clean tear just into the map, overall a very good set.


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