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MARVIN, Charles.

Our Public Offices:

embodying an account of the disclosure of the Anglo-Russian Agreement and the unrevealed secret treaty of May 31st, 1878. Third and cheaper edition.

London: W. Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1882 Stock Code: 143603
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Our Public Offices provoked a minor political scandal on first publication in 1878; this copy of the third edition bears an attractive provenance, with the posthumous book label of Peter Hopkirk (1930-2014), the noted explorer and writer on Russia and Central Asia. Marvin, who had spent his early years working at his father's engineering works on the Neva later as a newspaper correspondent in St Petersburg, entered the Foreign Office in 1877. The following year, though only a writer, he was entrusted to make a copy of a secret treaty with Russia, agreed between Lord Salisbury and the Russian ambassador Shuvalov in the aftermath of the Treaty of Berlin, which brought to a close the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8. "The same evening he supplied The Globe and Traveller, from memory, with a summary of the document. On 1 June Lord Salisbury, in the House of Lords, claimed that this summary was 'wholly unworthy of their lordships' confidence'. On 14 June The Globe and Traveller printed the complete text of the treaty from Marvin's extremely retentive memory. On 26 June he was arrested, but discharged on 16 July as he had not committed an illegal act. In 1878 he published Our public offices, embodying an account of the disclosure of the Anglo-Russian agreement, and the unrevealed secret treaty of 31 May, 1878" (ODNB).

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Octavo. Original diagonally-ribbed red cloth, spine and front board lettered in gilt with decorative panelling in black.


Line-drawn caricatures to the text.


Spine rolled and faded, sunned overall with a few marks, tips bumped, headcaps rubbed, still a very good copy.


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