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121062 121062_1 121062_2 121062_3 121062_4
(BROOKE, James.) MUNDY, Rodney.

Narrative of Events in Borneo and Celebes, down to the Occupation of Labuan....

From the Journals of James Brooke. Together with a Narrative of the Operations of H.M.S. Iris.

Availability: In stock

Published: London John Murray, 1848

Stock Code: 121062

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


Second edition, a lovely copy of this key source for the biography of Sir James Brooke (1803-1868), army officer and first rajah of Sarawak: "a Victorian imperial hero, yet controversial and loathed by some, he founded a state and established a regime which lasted a century, and also influenced the fiction of Kipling, Conrad, and lesser writers" (ODNB). Mundy (1805-1884), was ordered to Borneo on board the Iris in 1846 and, in co-operation with Brooke, conducted a brilliant series of operations against the Borneo pirate tribes, before taking formal possession of Labuan on 24 December 1846. Extracts from Brookes's journals had previously been published in Keppel's Expedition to Borneo of HMS Dido (1846); Mundy's edition "provided Brookes's critics with many bellicose passages which Keppel had omitted, and which Richard Cobden read with growing glee" (Runciman, The White Rajah, p. 103). The spirited lithographs, from Mundy's own drawings, include his visit to the Sultan of Brunei, the capture of Brunei, and other actions including the signing of the Treaty of the Cession of Labuan. There are also track charts of Brooke's yacht Royalist in the Gulf of Boni, and of HMS Iris off the coast of "Borneo Proper", which includes an inset of the capture of Brunei.

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2 volumes, octavo. Original vertical-ribbed red cloth, spines lettered in gilt and decoratively ruled in blind, blind frames to covers enclosing gilt blocks of a junk to front and of the sultan of Borneo's seal to rear, cream surface-paper endpapers.


Frontispiece to each volume (stipple-engraved portrait to vol. 1, tinted lithograph to vol. 2), 11 engraved plates, 5 further tinted lithographic plates, 5 folding charts of which 1 coloured.


Near-contemporary book label (Douglas, Cavers) to the front pastedowns, recent bookplate of Lancashire bibliophile and dispensing chemist Robert J. Hayhurst to that of vol. 1, discreet contemporary bookseller's blind stamp to front free endpapers. Spines rolled and sunned, and a little rubbed and nicked at extremities, scattered light marks and scores to covers, tips bumped and slightly worn, superficial, partial splitting to vol. 1 joints, mild spotting to margins of frontispiece and lithographic plates, and to titles and maps, these flaws minor: an excellent, unusually bright set.


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