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MALCOLM, Sir John.

The Life of Robert, Lord Clive:

Collected from the Family Papers communicated by The Earl of Powis.

London: John Murray, 1836 Stock Code: 116971
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"A landmark in the intellectual history of British India"

First edition of this important biography, the official life of Clive of India by Sir John Malcolm, another great Indian administrator. "By the time Malcolm wrote, no new material had appeared on Clive for more than forty years. The core of Malcolm's work was to be the large collection of manuscripts kept by Clive's son, the Earl of Powis" (Harrington, p. 164). However, Malcolm died in 1833 before he had finished his work and the task of completion was passed to his old colleague in the Indian service, William Erskine. Jack Harrington, in his thorough and engaging account of Malcolm's writings on India, remarks that his biography of Clive "has never been adequately acknowledged as a landmark in the intellectual history of British India" (ibid., p. 161). It's importance was sealed by Macaulay's essay in the Edinburgh Review, "Lord Clive" (1840), nominally a review of Malcolm's book.

Provenance: ownership inscriptions, "ex dono matris", of Henry Milford of Exeter, who served in the Bengal Civil Service from 1838 to 1840, dying at Meerut aged 20, on 27 December of that year.

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3 volumes, octavo (209 x 129 mm). Contemporary red straight-grained morocco, titles direct to flat spines, scrolled foliate panels with floral centre-tool to the compartments, attractive seashell and seaweed gilt rolled panel to the boards, edges sprinkled red, marbled endpapers. Housed in red cloth drop-back box, black morocco label to the spine.


Engraved portrait frontispiece of Clive by Edwards after Reynolds (actually by Nathaniel Dance, see erratum at end of vol. III), folding engraved map of India by J. and C. Walker.


A little rubbed, all front joints started to various degrees, that of volume I cracked to the cords, but holding, pale toning, the occasional spot of foxing, folding map with a short closed terar, professionally repaired verso, but overall very good, remaining attractive.


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