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OUTRAM, [James].

The Conquest of Scinde.

A Commentary. Part I, General Sir Charles Napier's Negotiations with the Ameers […] Part II, Campaign in Scinde and Treatment of the Ameers.

Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1846 Stock Code: 120230
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First edition, presentation copy of Outram's account of the controversial annexation of Sind, inscribed "With the author's Complements" on the half-title of volume 1, probably in a secretarial hand. Having been specifically requested by Napier as commissioner for the treaty terms, Outram came to identify so closely with the position of the amirs and the condition of their people that he broke completely with his superior, publishing this highly personal response to Napier's own account, published the previous year under the same title. "Napier believed the amirs were relics of oppressive feudalism that should be abolished, whereas Outram believed that before the British entered Sind, the people there were as happy as those under any government in Asia. When the governor-general ordered an even more rigorous treaty to be signed by the amirs, Outram became convinced that Napier would use it to goad the amirs into war, which would give him the opportunity to annex the whole of Sind. Knowing how the amirs' undisciplined, ill-armed tribesmen would be slaughtered by Napier's army, Outram wrote to him protesting that his policies were harsh and tyrannical, and that every life lost in consequence would be murder" (ODNB). Events at Hyderabad in February 1843 were central to their dispute, Outram claiming that the amirs had agreed signed a treaty which Napier ignored, not wanting to miss the opportunity to begin the war in earnest. "The contest proved a long and costly one for Outram. For years the uncongenial paper warfare dragged on, and was the source of misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and aspersions on both sides" (ibid.); this is an exceptional copy of a work considered as "a reflection of the giant wills of two determined men" (Riddick).

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2 volumes, octavo. Original vertical-ribbed brown cloth, blind rules to spines, compartments lettered in gilt, decorative panel-stamp to boards in blind incorporating a central roundel with strapwork infill, edges untrimmed, yellow surface-paper endpapers, binder's ticket of Edmonds & Remnants to rear pastedown of vol. 1.


Extremities very slightly bumped and rubbed, short (6 mm) split to rear joint of vol. 1, a few trivial marks to covers, small slip with "P.2." inked in contemporary hand mounted to front pastedowns, faint marking to vol. 1 half-title, contents otherwise with only scattering of very mild spots. An exceptionally bright copy, vol. 2 almost entirely unopened.


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