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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: 141273
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Bound by Hering

First edition of this important biography, the official life of Clive of India by Sir John Malcolm, another great Indian administrator, a work that has "never been adequately acknowledged as a landmark in the intellectual history of British India"; this copy presented in a lovely binding by one of the finest London binders of the period, Charles Hering (Jack Harrington, Sir John Malcolm and the Creation of British India (2010), p. 161).

"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. Its importance was sealed by Macaulay's essay in the Edinburgh Review, "Lord Clive" (1840), nominally a review of Malcolm's book.

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3 volumes, octavo (220x 132 mm). Contemporary dark green calf by Hering (with his stamp at head of front free endpaper verso), richly gilt spines, dark red twin labels, sides with border of paired gilt fillets, gilt corner rosettes, pretty scrolling foliate roll to edges and turn-ins, primrose yellow-coated endpapers, gilt edges.


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.


Neat presentation inscription to half-title in vol. I, "To my beloved Mercy from her affect[tiona]te Mother, Charlotte ?Malrahan, Novbr: 1836". A little stripping to front cover of vol. I, a few other shallow scratches and abrasions, touch of foxing to frontispiece. A particularly attractive and conspicuously tall set.


Jack Harrington, Sir John Malcolm and the Creation of British Indias (2010).


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