The Recollections of a Glasgow Detective Officer:
with special experiences of human nature.London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., Edinburgh and Glasgow: John Menzies & Co., 1887(?) Stock Code: 114981
NotesSecond edition, the title page verso carrying "press notices of first edition". With fine engraved presentation label presenting this copy to "William C. Coghill Esqr". William Calder Coghill (1835-1914), printer and publisher, co-founder of Aird & Coghill Ltd ("letterpress and lithographic printers") was a prominent figure in Glasgow philanthropic circles: he was a founder member of the Scottish Prohibition Society (1856), a director of The Glasgow Northern Highland Benevolent Society, a member of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow and a director of the Victoria Infirmary at its establishment in 1888.
Thomas P. McNaught was a detective with the Glasgow police force and his slim book focuses on what we would now call "human interest" stories, concluding with "Barmaids and fascinating fellows"; it is also cited as an early example of the police memoir: "Gradually... men who served as detectives in the police force of in Britain also began to write their memoirs, although few saw print before Sherlock Holmes made his appearance in the latter 1880s" (Emsley & Shpayer-Makov eds., Police Detectives in History, 1750-1950, 2006, p. 109).
Remarkably scarce in commerce and institutionally: of this second edition Library Hub cites only the copy at Glasgow among British and Irish institutional libraries, with copies of the first edition at only three locations (BL, Cambridge, Scotland); WorldCat adds only one copy worldwide (Museumsgesellschaft Zurich).
Octavo. Original presentation binding of red "shingles"-patterned padded cloth, single line gilt border on sides, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers.
Pencilled ownership inscription of "A. Jardine" on verso of front free endpaper; spine toned, a few marks to covers, scattered light foxing. A very good copy in the attractive - albeit rather vulnerable - presentation binding.
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