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DE CHAIR, Somerset.

The First Crusade.

The Deeds of the Franks and other Jerusalemites. Gesta francorum et aliorum hierosolimitanorum. Translated into English for the first time. Engravings by Clifford Webb.

London: The Golden Cockerel Press, 1945 Stock Code: 120134
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Signed limited issue, one of 100 bound in vellum

First edition in English, signed limited issue of 500 copies, of which 100 were specially bound in full vellum; this copy being number 4. Additionally inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "For Gathorne, from a tired Crusader, this account of those who enjoyed on the road to Jerusalem 'a Happy Martyrdom,' Somerset de Chair, Wingfield Morris Orthopaedic Hospital, 11 November 47". The recipient, Dr Gathorne Robert Girdlestone, was a pioneering orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of the hospital.

A characteristic output of the Golden Cockerel Press, which also published de Chair's The Golden Carpet (1943), and The Silver Crescent (1943). These works detail his military exploits in the Middle East; de Chair served as an intelligence officer with the 4th Cavalry Brigade during the Anglo-Iraqi War and the Syrian Campaign. The gesta francorum, often considered one of the most valuable contemporary crusader accounts, was written c.1101 by an anonymous author connected with Bohemond I of Antioch.

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Tall octavo. Original vellum, titles to spine gilt, vignette to covers gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Housed in the orange cloth slipcase.


Woodcut frontispiece, vignette title page, and 4 full-page woodcuts.


A fine copy.


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