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The Lushai Expedition, 1871-1872.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Hurst and Blackett, 1873

Stock Code: 131788

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First and sole edition, uncommon; this remains the primary printed source on the campaign. "A member of the Topographical Survey Department of India, Lieutenant Woodthorpe was attached from November 1871 to March 1872 to the military expedition sent to suppress the outrages of several hill tribes in the Cachar region on India's North-East Frontier. His modest narrative summarises the occupation of the Lushai areas by British forces and their pacification of the area after a series of guerilla-like military actions" (Riddick). This was the campaign in which Lord Roberts cut his teeth, "in 1871 he organized the logistics of an expedition against the Lushai people of Assam, where he had his first experience of commanding troops in action; he was then created CB. Recognized as the most promising officer in the department, in 1873 and 1874 he was acting quartermaster-general" (ODNB).

"Nature intended Robert Woodthorpe 1844-1898 to be one of the world's explorers", ran his lengthy and laudatory obituary in the Geographic Journal. "He was gifted with a short, squat figure and sturdy frame, immense capacity for endurance, and a courage that no combination of difficulties and dangers could depress... In 1871-72 he was called on to accompany the Lushai expedition... Here again his pen came freely into play, and of this particular expedition he did publish an account, which is well worth study". Woodthorpe's papers are held at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

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Octavo. Original dark blue sand-grain cloth, gilt lettered spine, covers with ornamental border and central decorative "Indian" panel in black, yellow coated endpapers.


Wood engraved frontispiece by George Pearson and title vignette (with tissue guard), map of the theatre of operations, title page printed in red and black within red and black single-line borders.


From the library of Henri, Comte de Chambord (1820-1883), Legitimist pretender to the throne of France (1844-1883), with discreet acquisition label of Maggs Bros. Binding refurbished, extremities of spine and corners consolidated, grain of spine smoothed and gilt retouched, yet this remains an attractive copy, with the 16-page publisher's catalogue at end.


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