Life and Correspondence of John, Earl of St. Vincent, …London: Henry Colburn, 1838 Stock Code: 85996
First edition of the earliest full biography of this unjustly neglected figure, perhaps best remembered for his patronage, as "Nelson's Dear lord", of Britain's greatest Naval hero. St. Vincent pursued a far less spectacular, but in no way less worthy career, than that of his great protégé.
"St Vincent was not a great tactician. The battle of St Vincent, the only major battle in which he commanded, though temporarily deflecting a projected Franco-Spanish invasion, was not decisive and gained its fame largely through the nation's relief at the news of a victory during a gloomy period of the war. His importance lies in his being the organizer of victories; the creator of well-equipped, highly efficient fleets; and in training a school of officers as professional, energetic, and devoted to the service as himself. His mind was firm, clear, and decisive. Although his workload was exhausting, no significant detail escaped him and he excelled in the introduction of major improvements in naval health and hygiene St Vincent's term of office at the Admiralty produced important results. By providing a mass of information on working practices in the commission reports, by reducing abuses and promoting greater honesty and efficiency, and by clearing away outdated customs of work and rewards, St Vincent ensured that the navy was better prepared to meet the challenges of the nineteenth century" (ODNB).
2 volumes octavo. Original mid-blue fine-diapered cloth, title in gilt on the spine, panelled in blind on the boards, enclosing elaborate foliate and floral devices, pale cream surface-paper endpapers.
Portrait frontispiece to volume I, and a chart to volume II.
Engraved carte-de-visite of Major W.B. Gray, Army Educational Corps mounted as bookplate on the front pastedown of each volume. A little rubbed, spines sunned, a little crumpled head and tail, and two small snags to the upper joint of volume I, some foxing front and back of both volumes, frontispiece of volume II, finely spotted, but overall a very good set in the publisher's cloth.
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