BETTS, Ernest.

The Bagging of Baghdad.

London: John Lane, 1920 Stock Code: 121703
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First and only edition. Uncommon, as are all of the Lane's "On Active Service" series, represented in the UK at the six deposit libraries and IWM only. More uncommon still in the pictorial jacket, here a little compromised in condition but largely complete. Consistent with the series' aim of providing lively eyewitness accounts of the recent conflict, the current volume was contributed by a non-professional: "Despite an unfortunate title, this little book on the Mesopotamian campaign is worth reading. The author's object is to describe a soldier's feelings in battle. He is a civilian who volunteered for service; a regular officer would perhaps have a different point of view. Mr. Betts says that, when the enemy's shellfire became heavy and the troops were ordered to advance, he found himself "numbed and incapable and immeasurably stunned" because he had nothing to do but to await instructions. When he was in the actual firing-line there was so much going en that he had no time to think. Probably many thousands of volunteers who served would agree with Mr. Betts. His impressions of Basra and Bombay are clearly described. He does not seem to have met the best Anglo-Indians" (The Spectator, 30 October 1920).

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Octavo. Original rust cloth, title in black to the spine and front board, both also with the series title blocked in blind, the front board with an attractive device of an artillery battery. With dust jacket.


Cloth somewhat spotted and rubbed at the edges, endpapers browned, text-block toned, the jacket rubbed and soiled, and chipped head and tail of the spine, costing the publisher's name, but otherwise textually and pictorially complete, a very good copy.


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